SE buys 2 new defibrillators for ambulances

SLEEPY EYE – The Sleepy Eye City Council approved the purchase of two new AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) for the Sleepy Eye Ambulance Service on Thursday.

A grant will pay for half of the cost. The ambulance service, which is operated by the City of Sleepy Eye, will pay the remaining $24,644.66 cost for the other unit. A new AED will be placed in each of the city’s two ambulances.

“This will enable us to replace three old pieces of equipment with one,” said city councilor and ambulance service member Joann Schmidt. “The tool allows us to get diagnostic tools to the patient on scene. The tools are connected to Verizon wireless, and we can send a text with EKG data to the doctor’s cell phone on scene.”

The city council also:

  • Approved raising ambulance service rates from $425 to $525 for in-town routes and not itemizing bills in the future. Ambulance Coordinator Shari Hittesdorf said the rates are in line with area towns and more compatible with Medicare billing. City Manager Mark Kober said 70 percent of the ambulance runs involve Medicare billing.

Canvassed primary election results. There were 163 votes cast in Sleepy Eye on Tuesday.

Learned from City Engineer Dave Palm that utility work is complete on Walnut Street in the Snow Farm project and curb and gutter work is set to begin next Wednesday or Thursday. Project completion date is Oct. 10, 2014.

Learned from Police Chief Matt Schmidt that the police department could save several thousand dollars a year in salary overtime costs and save on officer stress by hiring several part-time officers.

“Most of our officers would appreciate being home with their families more on weekends,” Schmidt said. “Several officers who left the department said they’d be interested in working part-time. Some said they may have stayed here if they didn’t have to work mandatory overtime like we are doing now. Several New Ulm officers said they are interested in working part-time for us.”

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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