December 7, 2007–PRIOR LAKE, MN–The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) has announced that it will donate funds to support the purchase of 199 automated external defibrillators (AEDs)—enough to equip every State Patrol squad car in the state of Minnesota.
“We are pleased to have been able to work with the Governor and his staff to equip these patrol cars with defibrillators,” said SMSC Business Council Chairman Stanley Crooks. “This is a great example of how the state and tribes can work together on a project. In order to protect Minnesotans, we need to help equip our first responders and law enforcement.”
Governor Tim Pawlenty thanked SMSC at a news conference December 6th, describing the gift of AEDs as a public-private partnership that benefits all of Minnesota, especially families and friends of the people whose lives will be saved by these devices. The state of Minnesota provided $312,000 in funding for the AEDs and the SMSC donated $200,000.
“The SMSC has an active AED program here on the SMSC reservation, with defibrillators in 24 different locations,” said SMSC Director of Emergency Services Jim Muelken.“We have had great success with the Tribal responders and equipment, and we want to make sure others have that same opportunity," said SMSC Tribal Administrator Bill Rudnicki.
“Our ultimate goal is to prevent injuries and deaths on Minnesota’s traffic corridors, and this important gift will definitely help our cause,” said Colonel Mark Dunaski, Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “We’re grateful to the Mdewakanton for their generosity and concern for the welfare of all Minnesotans.”