Public access AEDs to be installed in Oshkosh this week - June 5 2013

OSHKOSH, WI -- The installation of public access AEDs throughout Oshkosh this week couldn't come at a better time as summer recreation and tourism events kick into full swing.

"This definitely makes Oshkosh a safer place," said Timothy Franz, Oshkosh Fire Chief. "The reason why this is so critical is that when someone is identified as being in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival are greater the earlier that help comes. We know that having an AED nearby makes a difference between life and death."

Click here to request a brochure on the AED campaign.

Photo caption: Oshkosh Fire Chief Timothy Franz and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Interim President Bill Wyman talk with the media about the importance of public access AEDs in Oshkosh.

Click here to see photos of the AED installation at South Park.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) administer a controlled electric shock to the chest or heart of a person suffering sudden cardiac arrest to correct his or her life-threatening irregular heartbeat. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, striking more than 340,000 victims each year, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The units chosen for this project are designed for use by non-professional rescuers and provide audible instructions.

"One of the things that makes our community unique is that we are known as the Event City with more than 1 million visitors annually. Even though we already have AEDs in the schools and in many businesses, we still have a vulnerable population that is underserved by the availability of an AED - that is until now," Franz said. "This campaign will help us achieve our goal of making Oshkosh a heart safe community."

The locations with 24-hour public access to AEDs include:
  • Menominee Park (Reetz Field concession stand)
  • Spanbauer Field (at Sawyer Street and W. Sixth Avenue)
  • Rainbow Park (shelter No. 1)
  • 24th Avenue Boat Launch
  • Fugleberg Boat Launch
  • Red Arrow Park (concession stand)
  • South Park (shelter No. 1)
  • Opera House Square
  • Leach Amphitheater (concession stands)

  • The next step will be to provide GPS locating information for these AEDs that people could access through a mobile phone app, Franz said.

    The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation with the Oshkosh Fire Department launched the fundraising campaign in October 2012 to purchase and maintain public access AEDs throughout Oshkosh. With support from Aurora Health Care, Affinity Health System and ThedaCare, along with numerous other individual donors, more than $50,000 toward the $100,000 goal was raised.

    To date, 24 AEDs, cabinets and signs have been purchased. Eight AEDs are being used in the vehicles of on-duty Oshkosh Police officers and six are being used in the vehicles of Winnebago County Sheriff's deputies.

    "This is another project that puts Oshkosh on the map as a community that cares, and has an outstanding quality of life for its residents. We believe that with the installation of these AEDs, Oshkosh is one of the few communities in the state to have these life-saving devices in public locations where they are available 24-hours-a-day," said Bill Wyman, interim president of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. "As a leadership organization, the Community Foundation is proud to be part of this project and we were thrilled see so many donors step up to support it."

    In conjunction with the fundraising campaign, the Community Foundation and Fire Department sought to raise awareness about the need for AEDs at private businesses in the community. More than 25 AEDs were purchased for use at local businesses as a result.

    The Community Foundation is continuing to raise money for the campaign so that AEDs can be installed in additional public sites, including the downtown Oshkosh Business District, four additional city parks and at locations in Winneconne.

    Donations can be made to the AED Defibrillator Fund online, by phone at 920-426-3993, or by mail to:
    Oshkosh Area Community Foundation
    230 Ohio Street Suite 100
    Oshkosh, WI 54902-5894

    The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.


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