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Heart Safe Communities

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. And it's almost always fatal. Cardiovascular events, including cardiac arrest, are the second-leading cause of death in Minnesota, responsible for almost 20% of deaths.

In Minnesota in 2010, more than 35% of deaths due to heart disease happened prior to arriving at the hospital, and many of those were due to cardiac arrest. This is why the Minnesota Department of Health, the American Heart Association, the Minnesota Ambulance Association, the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium, and others have partnered to promote Heart Safe Communities, an effort to prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest by increasing community and public awareness, placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) wherever people live, work and play, and by educating the public on how to administer CPR.

Heart Safe Communities helps communities and organizations:

  • educate community members about sudden cardiac arrest and improving heart health.
  • train people how to use AEDs and perform CPR.

Heart Safe designation

Heart safe designation recognizes a community's efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond. Any municipality, county or organization in Minnesota can apply for the Heart Safe designation from the Minnesota Department of Health and American Heart Association.

The following Minnesota communities have achieved Heart Safe designation (updated February 2015):

  • Apple Valley
  • Bloomington
  • Breezy Point
  • Coon Rapids
  • Delano
  • Fayal Township (St. Louis County)
  • Gem Lake
  • Golden Valley
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter)
  • Hastings
  • Hugo
  • Kandiyohi County
  • Lake City
  • Lakeville
  • Mahtomedi
  • Maple Grove
  • Maple Plain
  • Minnetonka
  • New Brighton
  • New Ulm
  • Osseo
  • Plymouth
  • Rockford
  • St. Anthony Village
  • St. Thomas Academy (Mendota Heights)
  • Savage
  • Shakopee
  • South Metro Fire Department (South St. Paul and West St. Paul)
  • Stevens County
  • Vadnais Heights
  • White Bear Lake
  • White Bear Township (Ramsey County)
  • Willmar
  • Woodbury

Heart Safe Partners

  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • American Heart Association - Minnesota
  • Minnesota Ambulance Association
  • Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium
  • Minnesota Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors Network
  • Take Heart Minnesota
  • Take Heart St. Cloud
  • Allina Health - Heart Safe Communities
  • North Memorial - Heart Safe Communities
  • Project Northland


Are you providing bystander CPR training?

Please add your training numbers here and help train 10 percent of Minnesotans:

Have you registered your AEDs?

Minnesota's AED registration law went into effect on August 1, 2014. Owners of AEDs intended for public use are required to register their AEDs in either the free Minnesota Registry or a private registry that includes a maintenance plan. The free registry tool helps AED owners by providing:

1. Updates from manufacturers.
2. Reminders to replace electrodes and batteries
3. Regular registry date update reminders
4. Management tools for locations with multiple AEDs.

To learn more about Heart Safe Communities and how to receive technical assistance about implementing the program in your community, please contact:

American Heart Association - MN
4701 West 77th Street
Edina, MN 55435
952-278-7910 (phone)
952-835-5828 (fax)

James Peacock, PhD, MPH

Updated Friday, April 17, 2015 at 10:32AM