MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two years ago Thursday, a postal worker named Art Tilson died at the Minneapolis Post Office Distribution Center. His friends believe his life could have been saved if there had been an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in the building.

As they did last year on the first anniversary of Tilson’s death, several of his co-workers demonstrated outside the post office.

This year, the postal workers were joined by members of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors Network. They also believe the Post Office should have at least one AED in the building.

After Art Tilson’s death in this building in 2009, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community offered AEDs to the Distribution Center — at no cost. However, the post office says if this building got AEDs, they would have to be supplied to 900 other Post Offices in the district.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Greg Danner, one of Tilson’s friends. “We’re trying to get our Senators and Congress people involved, because we think if they would be willing to apply a little bit of pressure, maybe we could have this accomplished by now. ”

A spokesperson for the post office said there are more than 60 first aid and CPR certified volunteers on staff here. Some survivors of sudden cardiac arrest say CPR alone is not enough, however.

“Sudden Cardiac Arrest is an electrical problem,” said Natasha Fleischman, who is a cardiac arrest survivor. “So, it’s when the heart starts beating chaotically, so that no blood gets pumped out to the rest of the body, and you die within minutes.”

The post office issued a statement Thursday saying, “We have sent a request for assessment of two proposals for a pilot AED program at the Minneapolis Processing & Distribution Center.”

However, protestors said they are frustrated that two years have gone by and there are still no AEDs here.

Comments (5)
  1. tuna-free dolphin says:

    Maybe we should close down the USPS and farm it out to companies like UPS or Fexdex who actually make money instead of lose money. We’d all get our mail quicker and they already AEDs. Problem solved, everybody wins. Don’t waste another nickel on the USPS.

    1. Jean retired postal worker says:

      You don’t know what you are talking about. The United States Government has not given money to keep the Postal Service in business for many years. They actually would make money except the Government has them put huge amounts of money toward retirement for workers, much more than necessary. Then the Government BORROWS it, just like Social Security and you know where that has gotten us.

  2. Victim Du Jour says:

    For 100’s of years, postal people have been kicking the bucket. It’s a good system and makes room for a younger postal person to take the place of an older postal service person.

    They have personal AED’s, nothing stopping a postal worker from buying his or her own AED if they have heart problems.

  3. Liese Tilson says:

    My thanks to the Postal Workers , the members of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors Network and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for the protest this afternoon. I appreciate your continued efforts to get AED’s into the Minneapolis Post Office. I believe if there were an AED available at the time of my fathers cardiac arrest, he would have had a chance at survival. As it was, it took HCMC over 15 minutes to get to my father. I am told, the Minneapolis Post Office did not follow their SOP in a medical emergency. I understand the EMT’s had to wait for an elevator that would allow room for the transport gurney. Too many things were against my father on June 9, 2009. I am sorry I was unable to attend.todays protest, I would have liked to have been there to meet the men and women who are honoring my fathers legacy. You have my deepest appreciation .and I am forever grateful.
    Liese Tilson

  4. Ines Beag says:

    If the workers are so out raged, why haven’t they bought their own units?
    We all gotta die sometime, thank God the worker died fast.

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