Franciscan Health Michigan City will sponsor the upcoming Bolt for the Heart Race to help fund life-saving automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, for local police cruisers.
The fourth annual Bolt for the Heart Hallowrun will take place at 9 a.m. on October 29 at Washington Park in Michigan City.
“The annual Bolt for the Heart event has been a huge success every year for the past three years,” said Dean Mazzoni, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Michigan City. “Success means AEDs are in the hands of our first responders, our dedicated law enforcement officers. Success means lives saved. We at Franciscan Health Michigan City are honored to once again be the presenting sponsor of this very important event for our community.
The nonprofit was created after an Indiana State Police trooper suffered a heart attack and founder Pierre Twer learned he did not have an AED in his patrol car. He has since donated more than 2,000 AEDs to police, including 465 to the Indiana State Police, raising funds through 5k/half marathons.
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He started the race in Carmel but took it back to his home county of LaPorte.
“I remember when Pierre contacted me and we found out we were from the same county,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, who now sits on Bolt’s board of directors. for the Heart. “He said he wanted to put AEDs in the cars of all the frontline soldiers. I said, ‘This guy has no idea how much they cost.’ Now we are nearly 500 DEAs later.”
The American Heart Association estimates that 40,000 lies a year could be prevented if someone performed CPR and applied an AED in five minutes. It is estimated that cardiac arrest kills 335,000 people a year.
“We know it will happen, it’s just inevitable,” Twer said. “That’s why we do what we do. When the time is right, these officers will be equipped with the tools and training they need to respond in times of crisis. »
Senior Indiana State Trooper Art “Artie” Smith is credited with saving a life with an AED while on patrol on Boxing Day 2021 just south of Elkhart. He went to see a 63-year-old man and saw that he was unresponsive.
“It definitely felt like a heart attack,” Smith said. “I called the dispatcher for an ambulance, got my AED and shocked him once, did three or four compressions and he came to.”
Paramedics said it was a “widow’s heart attack”.
“I was in the right place at the right time with the right gear and the right workout with just seconds to spare,” Smith said.
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