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Community: Initiatives

HeartStart Program

A number of people in the Gold Cross regional service area are alive today thanks to the use of Automatic External Defibrillators, or AEDs. Placement of AEDs in emergency response vehicles, in public areas and in local business is the special emphasis of the HeartStart program. Gold Cross is leading partner of the program.

HeartStart is committed to providing AEDs to municipalities of all sizes and to all kinds of organizations, as well as assisting in the placement of AEDs in public locations in the Fox Valley. The HeartStart fund, held and administered by the Community Foundation for the Fox River Valley Region, helps pay for AEDs, which cost about $1,400 each.

As of fall 2016, Gold Cross has assisted in the placement of more than 300 AEDs in the Fox Valley and broader region. Publicly accessible AEDs are located in downtown Appleton, Neenah and Menasha, as well as in smaller municipalities in the region, and scores more are used by  law enforcement and other first responders.

Gold Cross also provides matching funds to organizations who want to purchase and place AEDs, and trains community members and local businesses in CPR and AED use.

HeartStart began in 1998, when Medtronic/Physio Control granted Gold Cross $60,000 to provide local first responders with AEDs. Because of this program and the support of the communities, today the Fox Cities have the most AEDs per capita in Wisconsin. Gold Cross provides medical direction, free training and quality assurance for the first responder AED program.

Disaster Preparedness

Gold Cross supports regional disaster preparedness through partnerships with first responder agencies, including local fire, police and sheriffs’ departments. From practicing Mass Casualty Drills to maintaining lists of resources and key people to command structure protocol and communications planning, Gold Cross is ready to support any disaster situation.

File of Life

Gold Cross supports Winnebago, Outagamie, Calumet, and Waupaca counties in their File of Life programs. The File of Life is a medical card that is posted on your refrigerator and kept in your wallet. It contains important medical information could save your life if EMS personnel are ever called to your home. The File of Life allows seniors and special needs patients to live independently. They can be confident first responders and EMS will quickly learn about their medications, key medical conditions and medical history.