LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)- Officials say hundreds of thousands of people die each year of sudden cardiac arrest.
Now, Tri State Ambulance is working to save lives through an automated external defibrillator, or AED, loaner program.
The ambulance service says the ground breaking loaner program is the only one they are aware of in the country.
Tri State will allow adults, 18 and older, the opportunity to check-out the AED for business and community events for free.
The borrower will, however, need to view a short tutorial video on how to safely operate the equipment and they will get some hands-on practices with a Tri State paramedic.
The Chili cook-off was the first time the AED was loaned out.
The cost to borrow the AED is free.
There is only one, so the life saving device will be given out based on to the group with the most people at risk if they is a need at the same time.
Borrowers will have to leave a credit car with Tri State as a deposit for the equipment.
Tri State Ambulance along with the Seven Rivers Chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association received financial support from Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation and Franciscan Skemp Foundation to launch the program.
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