Press Release - $3.6 Million Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant to Fund Life-Saving New Technology for Law Enforcement


$3.6 Million Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant to Fund Life-Saving New Technology for Law Enforcement

PHILIP, S.D. (Dec. 3, 2019) - In an ongoing effort to improve the cardiac system of care in the Upper Midwest, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded a grant of $3.6 million to equip every law enforcement agency as well as South Dakota State Park facilities with the next generation of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The grant, facilitated through the South Dakota Department of Health, will fund two devices to be placed in law enforcement vehicles in Haakon County and the City of Philip. The project includes training.

“Getting these new AEDs into the hands of those most likely to arrive first on the scene of a cardiac arrest will help save lives,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley Trustee. “The new technology will give first responders an edge. The South Dakota Department of Health is the first partner in what we hope will be an initiative to place these AEDs in all seven states in Helmsley’s funding area in the Upper Midwest.”

Studies conducted by the American Heart Association demonstrate a dramatically higher survival rate for cardiac patients shocked by law enforcement, who are generally first on the scene, especially in rural areas. The new LIFEPAK® CR2 defibrillators, designed by the Stryker Corporation, were selected to help rescuers provide the fastest first shock when defibrillation is needed. The LIFEPAK CR2 features industry-leading cprINSIGHT™ analysis technology that reduces pauses during CPR, allowing for improved blood circulation and better odds of survival. Using Wi-Fi connectivity, these self-monitoring devices can be configured to send near real-time event data via Wi-Fi, including a patient’s heart rhythm and shocks delivered, to incoming emergency services or receiving hospitals, helping speed the transition to the next level of care.

The Haakon County Sheriff’s Office and Philip Police Department will complete training and place the new devices in their vehicles by mid-December 2019.
To date, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has invested more than $416 million to improve access to quality healthcare in rural America, $110 million of that in South Dakota.
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2.6 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $416 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information, visit