(INDIANAPOLIS) – Late Wednesday morning, the President and Board Members of the Bolt For The Heart (BFTH) foundation were welcomed to Governor Holcomb’s office for a personal “Thank you” for donating an additional 134 AED units to the Indiana State Police.
This brings the total number of AED units donated to the state police to 465 and marks the fulfillment of a 2014 pledge by BFTH to put an AED in state police road patrol vehicles. The value of this donation exceeds $600,000.
Jeff Utzinger, with Gov. Holcomb was saved by a Carmel police officer with an AED
Gov. Holcomb visited with Pierre Twer, the President of the BFTH, a non-profit organization, along with BFTH Board Members, corporate friends of BFTH and state police officers that recently received an AED the result of the latest fundraising drive held on Thanksgiving Day last year.
Related to the most recent donation of AED units, Pierre Twer commented, “While this past Thanksgiving Day run raised enough funds to purchase 114 AED units, we couldn’t have made the goal of 134 without a special donation from our good friends and partners at HeartSaver, a committee of volunteers representing Deaconess Foundation and The Heart Hospital at Deaconess Gateway in Evansville, Indiana.” Twer continued, “HeartSaver donated 20 AED units in 2018 and 15 in 2017, all of which allowed for the placement of placed AEDs in state police vehicles from the Jasper, Evansville, and Putnamville state police posts.” Twer concluded, “Since October of 2014 HeartSaver has helped save countless lives through their donation of more than 300 AEDs in the tri-state region of Southern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana and Western Kentucky.”
Gov. Holcomb with Bolt For The Heart Board Members and troopers that received AED units
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, who was also present at today’s event commented, “I can’t put into words what the donations of AEDs has meant to the state police and to the people whose lives have already been saved because of organizations like HeartSaver and Bolt For The Heart.” Carter concluded, “Pierre, all I can truly say is ‘Thank you’ for having a vision and putting that vision into action through Bolt For The Heart; no one will ever truly know how many lives your vision will save.”
When asked about what the future holds for Bolt For The Heart Twer said, “Now we’re ready to turn our efforts toward the many other local and county police agencies in Indiana that could benefit by having an AED in an officer’s patrol vehicle, because our ultimate goal is to have an AED in every police vehicle in Indiana.”
More About Bolt For The Heart
The donation of the AED’s to the state police was borne the result of an experience Pierre Twer had while running in the 2010 Boston Marathon. During that race Pierre witnessed another marathon runner suffer a cardiac arrest. That runner was saved by an AED.
This inspired Pierre to collaborate with Heart Reach Carmel and establish the Bolt for the Heart 5K Family Thanksgiving Run, of which 2018 was the seventh year for the run and the third consecutive year the Indiana State Police was the primary recipient of the AED’s. Since its inception, this 5K run has grown from 41 runners to more than 3,000 that participated this past Thanksgiving Day run or in a virtual run held at locations across Indiana.
Each year since the run started 100% of the proceeds have been used to purchase AED’s for donation to not for profit organizations. The support from the central Indiana community for the Bolt race has been tremendous as many people enjoy running a 5K knowing their registration fees are going directly to buying AED’s for police vehicles.
In 2015, the Board of Directors of Bolt for the Heart identified the Indiana State Police as the recipient of AED’s from funds raised in the 2015 Thanksgiving Day run, which ISP Supt. Carter was also a registered runner. In fact Supt. Carter ran the entire 5K run in full state police uniform!
At the conclusion of the press conference attending troopers were issued their AED’s and placed window stickers on their patrol cars to easily identify the police vehicle was equipped with an AED.
History & Source of AED’s Donated to ISP Through BFTH:
- 2014 = Bolt Donation Day – 5 AED’s
- 2015 = Bolt for the Heart Race, Presented in 2016 – 55 AED’s
- 2016 = IU Health Donation Day – 15 AED’s
- 2016 = IU Health Additional Donation -50 AED’s
- 2016 = Indiana State Police Alliance – 10 AED’s
- 2016 = IU Health Community Engagement Dept, – 30 AED’s
- 2016 = Bolt for the Heart Race – 50 AED’s
- 2017 = Bolt for the Heart Race – 90 AED’s *Includes 15 Units donated by HeartSaver / Deaconess Hospital
- 2018 = Corporate Donations – 26 AED’s
- 2018 = Bolt for the Heart Race – 134 AED’s *Includes 20 units donated by HeartSaver / Deaconess Hospital
- Total Donated: 465 AED’s