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Roger H. Spilde, Moorhead, Published January 12 2013

Letter: Support for AEDs saves many lives

The story in The Forum on Dec. 30 caught my eye.

One thought is the concept of heroes. Obviously, Fargo Police Officer Shawn Gamradt was a hero. His quick response to get an AED was lifesaving. The reaction of Nicole Christensen, Cindy Troftgruben and Dr. Lara Lunde in performing CPR was obviously critical in maintaining survival. They are heroes. The result was certainly a good one for Roxanne Burnside.

Besides the individuals involved in this story was an organization named Dakota Medical Foundation, which has a history of support for the acquisition and placement of AEDs. As I understand it, the foundation initially distributed 12 AEDs in the community in 2000. I was the benefactor of one of these original units given to Concordia College. I experienced cardiac arrest while playing basketball at Concordia one noon. My experience was similar to Burnside in that CPR was administered (by numerous individuals) until the machine was brought. The CPR received while waiting for the AED kept my system “alive,” and the results were favorable.

Several conclusions: CPR is so critical in various situations. This likely involves a number of people who have had the training and have the calmness to overcome the tension of the moment and perform appropriately. I strongly encourage you to accept the opportunity for training.

Second, the Dakota Medical Foundation’s commitment to this venture is such a strength for this community. It was a hero in 2000 and continues today as a hero in its own way.


Spilde is a Concordia College professor emeritus.