AEDs are being installed in three City of Muscatine parks – Voice Of Muscatine

(City of Muscatine)

Three Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) will be installed at Kent Stein Baseball Park, the Muscatine Soccer Complex, and at Riverside Park after the City of Muscatine was successful in receiving a grant from the State of Iowa Public Health. The Muscatine Fire Department, Muscatine Parks and Recreation Department, and Trinity Muscatine Public Health.

The three units will be contained in bright yellow all-weather enclosures that are temperature controlled. Each unit has an access code for the door to open. That code will be provided when a person calls 911 and the AED is needed.

“The pursuit of these AEDs for our public spaces falls under our City’s mission statement (to provide effective municipal services, excellent customer service, and sound fiscal management that improves quality of life and ensures a sustainable economy),” Gary Ronzheimer, Muscatine Fire Department Battalion Chief EMS Operations, said.

“We noticed that our parks did not have AEDs that were accessible to the public and we have a large amount of attendance for sporting events, outdoor events, and other gatherings,” Ronzheimer said.

Ronzheimer worked with Stephanie Otskey, Public Health Projects Manager, to write the grant application and submit the application to the State of Iowa. Once the grant was approved, Public Health purchased the AEDs and boxes through LifeMed Safety. The AEDs and containers will be installed and maintained by the City of Muscatine.

When a person calls 911 and the AED is needed, MUSCOM (Muscatine Joint Communications Center) will provide the code for the door so the caller can access the AED. The 911 operator will walk the caller step-by-step on how to use the AED. Early defibrillation in our of the hospital cardiac arrest situations helps to increase the survivability of the patients.

Ronzheimer added that the City is trying to add all public accessible AEDs to a database that first responders and 911 operators can use in emergency situations. Any business owner who has installed AEDs into their facility is asked to complete the AED LOCATOR form or scan the QR code to the left and provide the locations of the units.

It is estimated that 400,000 people attend or play in baseball and softball games at Kent Stein Park each year. The AED at Kent Stein Park will be placed near the concession and restroom area between fields eight and 12, the dividing line between softball and baseball tournaments and practices, with additional signage posted at the other concession stand and throughout the park.

The Muscatine Soccer Complex sees around 250,000 patrons annually attend and participate in tournaments, games, and practices, but that number is expected to increase with additional amenities added to the complex and to Soccer West in the coming years. The AED at the Muscatine Soccer Complex will be placed near the concession and restroom area inside the main complex. Additional signage will be posted around the complex showing the location of the AED.

Riverside Park is not just a park, it is also the hub of Muscatine’s bike and pedestrian trail system, a marina, and a gateway to the downtown area. It is estimated that over 130,000 people attend events and other activities during the summer, but that number is much higher when other seasonal activities are included.

The park is also separated from the downtown area by a railroad that has the potential to delay responding emergency medical services when a train is passing through the city.

The AED at Riverside Park will be placed near the bike repair area on the restroom building located near the playground. Additional signage will be placed at the other three buildings located within the park.

The AEDs will be removed from Kent Stein Park and the Soccer Complex for storage and any needed service during the winter months when the parks are closed. The Riverside Park AED will be maintained year-round due to the high level of traffic. Muscatine Parks and Recreation and the Muscatine Fire Department will maintain the AEDs.

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