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Blairstown EMS competing for $25,000 Pepsi Refresh grant

The Blairstown Ambulance crew is asking for your help. Blairstown EMS is working on a project called “Have A Heart,” which includes purchasing a new heart monitor and a new CPR compression device called an AutoPulse. The project was accepted for the Pepsi Refresh Everything Grant competition that is being held online. The top-10 vote recipients by the last day of April in the $25,000 category will receive grant money.

Mindy Brittain, ambulance director, said, “We need everyone’s help to compete against large cities and national groups. The project has been ranked in the 40s during the first week, which is very good considering there are well over 1,000 projects competing. Please take a moment each day to visit this site: in the upper right-hand corner there is a search box. In the search box type in Blairstown and hit enter. Our project will come up. Click the Vote for this Idea box. You will need to sign up for a password to vote. Links are also on Facebook through the Blairstown Ambulance page and through individuals who are placing links on their Facebook pages for us. Feel free to place a link and help us spread the word to vote.”

A new monitor will be capable of transmitting a 12-lead EKG to the hospital before the patient gets there. For certain heart attack victims this saves time and heart muscle by getting them to a cath lab faster. A new monitor will also be updated to new CPR standards for shocking/defibrillating a patient. The current monitor is too old to be updated for either of these functions. The AutoPulse is a device that does the compressions of CPR. It is almost like having another person there. It frees the hands of EMTs to do other life-saving treatments. It also provides more consistent and effective compressions, resulting in better circulation during CPR.

Blairstown EMS hosted a soup luncheon and a silent auction in March for this project and raised nearly $12,000 that included a matching grant from Alliant Energy for $1,500 that will be awarded after our next fund-raiser. That fund-raiser combines a garage sale, bake sale and barbecue planned during the Blairstown town-wide garage sales on June 5. They plan to be in the community center gymnasium for this event.

She added, “The Blairstown crew would like to thank all the generous supporters that have donated towards this project so far. Attendance at the soup luncheon and auction was great! Now, even if you don’t have money to spare, you can still help us get $25,000 by voting for our project every day through the end of April. Your vote will make a difference!”

If you would like to support this project but do not want to vote every day or find yourself forgetting to vote, one of the crew members would be happy to vote for you.

Just e-mail your name, date of birth and e-mail address to the ambulance director at

UPDATED April 14, 2010 11:58 AM

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