Photo Credit: Build Idaho

HeartSafe Meridian Launches First Phase

The City of Meridian is doing its part to help combat the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States – heart disease. The City has implemented HeartSafe community initiatives – including the addition of 39 Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) to help keep the public safe.

“We continually strive to keep our City a safe and healthy community. By deploying AED’s and implementing other HeartSafe initiatives, we are providing services to our citizens that could mean the difference between life and death,” said Mayor Tammy de Weerd. Twelve Meridian Police patrol cars are now armed with AED’s in order to increase the chances of citizens surviving cardiac arrest with early defibrillation.

The Meridian Fire Department added thirteen AED’s to its fleet. The City also distributed fourteen AED’s throughout Meridian Parks for citizens to use if needed. Settlers Park has three, Kleiner has two and Heroes, Bear Creek, Storey and Tully Parks all have one. The Meridian Parks and Recreation Department also has AED’s at the Community Center, the Parks Maintenance Facility and three mobile AED’s to use for events.

“The safety of our citizens is a top concern, and with the addition of these AED’s we are creating an even safer environment city-wide, including our outdoor spaces,” said Deputy Chief David Jones, Meridian Fire Department. Deputy Chief Jones led the efforts to deploy the Heartsafe program throughout the city in order to raise the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest, which nationwide tends to be between 2 and 25 percent.

HeartSafe communities such as Seattle and San Diego have reported survival rates as high as 56 percent. “The HeartSafe Meridian program is a long term plan to increase the public’s awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and promote early access to EMS, CPR and early defibrillation,” said Deputy Chief Jones. The City of Meridian has installed AED’s in all City buildings, including the new wastewater facilities on Ten Mile Road.