Heart Safe Logo

Improving outcomes after cardiac arrest.

Every year, approximately 600,000 seemingly healthy people collapse when their hearts stop working, often without warning. Many die because of inadequate care.

Rethinking responses to cardiac arrest.

Survival rates have barely moved in 50 years. We can do better! Take Heart America sites have nearly tripled survival rates with improved brain function after cardiac arrest.


We partner with communities to change behaviors and implement leading strategies. Our nonprofit unites citizens, students, community leaders, first responders, emergency medical professionals, nurses, doctors, hospitals, other nonprofits focused on cardiac arrest and innovators in industry and science.

600,000 deaths occur annually

A large percentage of heart disease deaths happen before arriving at a hospital, and many of those are caused by cardiac arrest. This is why we’ve come together to promote Heart Safe Communities, an effort to prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest by implementing the following.

 Lay Rescuers

  • Calling 911 for help
  • Widespread public cardiac arrest awareness and education programs
  • Knowledge of correct AED use
  • Widespread use of 911 dispatch-assisted CPR instructions

First Responders

  • Rapid response
  • Starting chest compressions immediately
  • Delivering high quality CPR
  • Use of CPR feedback tools
  • Use of ACD + ITD CPR
  • Rapid AED use
  • Communication with base hospital
  • Performance data collection
Public and Lay Rescuers

Heart Safe Communities helps communities and organizations:

  • educate community members about sudden cardiac arrest and improving heart health.
  • train people how to use AEDs and perform CPR.
  • coordinate lay public and first responder resources.

Heart Safe designation


Steps to becoming a Heart Safe Community

  • Community Buy-In
  • Identify Community and Fiscal Needs
  • Letter of Intent
  • Implementation
  • Gain Recognition

Heart safe designation recognizes a community’s efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond. Any municipality, county or organization in the country can apply for the Heart Safe designation.

Heart Safe Advisory Committee

Brandon Gautsch, Brooklyn Center Fire
Tim Hoffman, Survivor, Ramsey Heart Safe
Jerry Koch, Coon Rapids, MN Mayor
Troy Lachinski, East Bethel Fire
Paul Mendoza, North Memorial Flight Medic (ret.)
Pat Olson, Hennepin County Medical Center Paramedic
Bryan Platz, Coon Rapids Police
Ryan Pourhassanian, Firefighter/Paramedic Chino Valley Fire District
Angie Rotter, Medtronic
Julie Trude, Andover, MN Mayor
Joshua Whittenburg, Brooklyn Center Police
Debbie Gillquist, Take Heart America Executive Director

Are you providing bystander CPR training?

Please add your training numbers here and help train 10 percent of Americans:

To learn more about Heart Safe Communities and how to receive technical assistance about implementing the program in your community, please contact:

Take Heart America

Bryan Platz

Debbie Gillquist