Fundraising Underway to put 80 New Lifesaving Devices around Door County

$75,000 matching challenge from anonymous donor kicks off Defibs4DoorCounty campaign

Fire departments throughout Door County are asking the public to help put more automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in key locations throughout the county to help save lives by donating to the Defibs4DoorCounty campaign.

“Access to a defibrillator means that first responders or even bystanders can begin a key life-saving step before an ambulance arrives,” said Chris Hecht, president of the Door County Fire Chiefs Association. “While not a replacement for calling 911, it allows patient treatment to start


More than 356,000 people experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S. each year. For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease 7-10%. Quickly shocking the heart of a cardiac-arrest patient with an AED can help

save the person’s life.

There are two AED models offered to government agencies, and this is one of them. Both models are compatible with the Door County system.

AEDs address an important public-safety need in a community such as Door County, which attracts more than 2 million visitors a year, hosts numerous large public events and is a place where nearly four in 10 year-round residents are 60 or older.

“We know that a defibrillation delivered by an AED and CPR make a critical difference in helping cardiac-arrest patients before an ambulance arrives, especially in a rural area like Door County,” said Aaron LeClair, director of Door County Emergency Services. “Making AEDs more accessible and part of our public-safety culture will help save lives.”

A $75,000 donation and matching challenge from an anonymous local donor was the catalyst for the fundraising campaign that is running now through Labor Day. If the fundraising goal is met, the $150,000 would add approximately 80 new AEDs to Door County’s current inventory. Along with providing new units to law, fire and EMS responders, wall cabinets with AEDs would be available to schools, places of worship, businesses and venues that frequently attract large crowds.

The public can help meet the challenge by making donations online at, in person at local North Shore Bank and Nicolet National Bank branches, and at any Door County fire station. Make checks payable to “Defibs4DoorCounty.”

Government agencies, including police, fire, emergency services and the Department of Natural Resources, may submit applications for new, not replacement, defibrillators through at this time. The application process will open to other organizations April 1. Recipients of defibrillators must commit to annual maintenance costs and other guidelines listed on the application form.

AED and CPR training is available for a nominal fee through the Sister Bay and Liberty Grove Fire Department.

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