Coon Rapids Heart Safe Program is Saving Lives

March 03, 2017 08:54 AM

The City of Coon Rapids is a Heart Safe community, thanks to a program created by Bryan Platz of the city's police department.

"I thought it was a good idea to start the program after the death of my uncle," Platz said.

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The Heart Safe Coon Rapids program has already trained more than 16,000 community members on CPR and Automated External Defibrillator use. The program is credited with giving Denise Klint the know-how to save the life of her coworker, Tanitha Johnson, in early February. 

"We thought there was a pulse, and then all of sudden there was no pulse," Klint said. "So then from my training I knew what I was going to have to do."

Johnson had collapsed that day at work.

"I died, and they was like, 'That lady saved you. The lady from your job immediately started doing CPR,'" Johnson said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, sudden cardiac arrest is the second-leading cause of death in the state, responsible for almost 20 percent of deaths.

The training was so effective that Platz is back at Johnson's and Klint's workplace, Midwest Disability, teaching other employees CPR and AED use.

"The physical part of it is not the hard part," Platz said. "But it's overcoming that fear, it's overcoming that second-guessing yourself and questioning whether I'm doing the right thing." 


Todd Wilson

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