Inspired by Dr. Richard E Kerber (1939-2016), UI Professor of Cardiology and a founder of the American Heart Association (AHA) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines, the worldwide gold standard, the Rotary-Kerber HeartSafe Community (Iowa City/Coralville) Campaign has six ambitious goals:
- raise awareness of the well-established benefits of immediate bystander CPR, supplemented by automated external defibrillation (AED) placement/use, and 911 linkage to emergency response services (EMS) to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA),
- train and certify 10 Rotarian health professionals as CPR and AED trainers,
- offer educational presentations, via Rotarian HeartSafe Community presenters, and free CPR/AED training to Iowa City/Coralville service clubs and Consultation of Religious Community (CRC) member organizations,
- collaborate with local business associations to electronically survey their members regarding CPR/AED availability, desire for purchasing an AED and CPR training, which will be offered free to small businesses,
- use social media and crowdsourcing, in cooperation with the City of Iowa City and City of Coralville Fire/Police Departments, to identify community AEDs and to use Google Maps to pinpoint all AEDs in all community public and private locations,
- develop and maintain an interactive and dedicated Rotary website for easy access to Google Maps for all AED locations, CPR and AED information, to summarize project data collection, and to document progress toward project goals in real-time.
These efforts will materially assist the City of Iowa City and City of Coralville to become level 5 Certified HeartSafe Communities, and will serve as a Rotary model for other district and national Rotary clubs to work with their own communities to achieve these same goals. Most importantly it will directly address local community needs for those most vulnerable to SCA, will incrementally save lives in the Iowa City and Coralville communities and, over time, help achieve the goal of becoming among the nation’s best prepared and certified HeartSafe Communities (60%+ survival).