Through the Mdewakanton LIFE Program, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, located in present-day Prior Lake and Shakopee, Minnesota, donated Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to Tribes, schools, police and fire departments, and charitable organizations. The Minnesota State Fair received two AEDs on November 4, 2011. More than 714 AEDs have been donated through the program, and 16 lives have been successfully saved due to their use.
The Mdewakanton LIFE Program aims to raise awareness and knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AEDs, as well as promote faster first response to a cardiac incidence not both within the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and throughout Scott County. An automatic external defibrillator is a small portable electronic device that can be used by trained non-professionals as well as Emergency Medical professionals, according to the Mdewakanton LIFE Program website. The AED analyzes the heart’s rhythm and tells the user to deliver a defibrillation shock only if needed. An AED will give voice prompts and screen displays to aid the user in how to attach the external electrodes, when to do CPR, when to stand clear while the AED is analyzing, and when to deliver an electrical shock to the victim if needed.
Tribes (all American Indian tribes in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin), first responding agencies, and government agencies can request an AED on the Mdewakanton LIFE Program website here.