ST. JOSEPH -- Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, and residents in St. Joseph are taking fate into their own hands.

Friday morning St. Joseph dedicated five new outdoor AED Save Stations. The dedication is part of a joint initiative between Mended Hearts, local police agencies, Advocates for Health and other local organizations to educate the public on the use and importance of AEDs.

Audrey Twit donated the save stations to the city in memory of her husband Ken Twit, a former St. Joseph city council member. She says she wanted to carry on his passion for giving back.

My husband was a big believer in the community and wanted to make sure everyone was aware of all the steps you could take to save someone. I wanted to continue that for him.

About 360,000 people die of cardiac arrest each year and less then 10 percent survive if not treated right away.

Sheriff Steve Soyka, along with the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, are supporters of the initiative. He says his office has been working to provide a map to all the AED's across the county to help dispatch during a medical situation.

I idea was to locate all the AED's in the county so we can get them mapped for dispatch so if there is a 911 call, they can tell the caller where the nearest AED is and enhance that response team.

Statistics show a person who suffers from sudden cardiac arrest is 75% more likely to survive if treated right away.

Each Save Station costs between $2,500 and $6,000 depending on the model and is able to withstand the elements, as well as have a built-in camera, in case the AED is stolen.

So far there are seven AED Save Stations in the greater St. Cloud area and the initiative's goal is to establish new AED Save Stations throughout the county, as well as replace outdated ones.

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