Contest awards go to Vesterheim staff

The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah has won an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and CPR training giveaway contest sponsored by Northeast Iowa Community College this summer.

Vesterheim staff members penned the winning essay in a competition judged by community volunteers. The College sponsored the essay contest in recognition of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, June 1-7. The AED and CPR training package is valued at $2,500.

Vesterheim Director of Administration, Marcia McKelvey, is thrilled the museum will receive the life-saving equipment and training.

“It was tremendous news that Vesterheim had been selected as the winner. As a tourist destination with over 13,000 visitors a year, we have a responsibility to be prepared in responding to critical situations such as a heart attack. We are very grateful to Northeast Iowa Community College for the opportunity to own an AED device and to train staff in CPR which supports a valuable public service,” McKelvey said.

Seventy percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes and the chances of survival decrease 10 percent every minute in a cardiac arrest, according to data from the American Heart Association. Many local organizations have partnered with NICC to provide training for their employees and volunteers, according to Phil Arensdorf, NICC Business and Community Solutions program developer.

“This was the first time that NICC offered the Zoll AED and CPR training promotion, as an extension of the work we do to better prepare our communities to respond to cardiac arrest incidents. We received over 25 applications from all parts of our NICC district, representing a variety of businesses, education and nonprofits. A panel of non-College employees evaluated the applications in two rounds and awarded this year’s package to Vesterheim Museum. We are honored to work on a daily basis with our community partners to increase cardiac arrest survivability chances,” said Arensdorf.

The College invited all northeast Iowa community organizations to enter the contest by writing an essay that explains why their organization needs an AED and the CPR training.

PHOTO: Pictured from left to right: Nicole Lemke, Sales Operations Coordinator, Business and Community Solutions; Marcia McKelvey, Director of Administration (Vesterheim); Kristi Flack, Director of Operations, Business and Community Solutions; Chivonne Marlow, Visitor Services Manager (Vesterheim) and Jim Nelson, Facilities Manager (Vesterheim).

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