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CPR and AED Awareness Week 2024: Training and equipment that saves lives

Friday, May 31, 2024

70% of cardiac arrests happen out-of-hospital, in homes, businesses and places of assembly.

NORTHEAST IOWA–Every year, CPR and AED Awareness Week, June 1-7, serves as a critical reminder of the life-saving potential within our communities. Individuals who know how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in their communities can make the difference between life and death.

Sudden cardiac arrest can strike without warning and immediate response is critical. Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) continues to train and equip local businesses to respond effectively. 70% of cardiac arrests happen out-of-hospital, in homes, businesses and places of assembly. The chances of survival decrease 10% every minute a patient is in a cardiac arrest, according to data from the American Heart Association. Early CPR and the AED helps improve those chances of survival.

“Northeast Iowa Community College is a Zoll AED distributor and is committed to partnering with workplace and public locations throughout our region to place AEDs. These devices are user-friendly, designated for the general public and can increase the odds of the patient surviving in the event of cardiac arrest,” said Phil Arensdorf, Program Developer for NICC Business and Community Solutions. “The College works closely with local businesses to assist with AED installation on-site and to provide the training their employees need.”

Public access to AEDs and widespread CPR training can significantly reduce the time it takes to provide crucial assistance to those in need, often before emergency services arrive. 

Employees at one local business in Dubuque, Spahn and Rose Lumber Company, participate in regular CPR training classes through NICC. As of December 2023, Spahn and Rose has partnered with NICC to install a total of 29 AED units at their lumberyard and general office locations, according to Cormac Siegert, the company’s safety coordinator.

“Employees spend a significant portion of their time at the workplace. By equipping our locations with AED units and providing CPR/AED training, we demonstrate a commitment to their overall safety and well-being. Similarly, we want our customers to feel safe each time they visit one of our retail locations. Cardiac arrest can strike anyone at any time, so we believe it is important to be prepared for these situations,” Siegert said.

NICC has teamed up with other businesses, including Dubuque Food Pantry, Riley Subaru and Fidelity Bank and Trust, to install and provide training with AEDs. This past year, Fidelity Bank and Trust installed 32 AED units in its branch locations throughout the region.

Since July 1, 2023, NICC has sold, distributed and provided user training for more than 120 AED units through its American Heart Association Training Center. Local businesses and school districts that want to learn more about CPR, AED and training programs through NICC should contact Arensdorf at