STILLMAN VALLEY – Only about ten percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive, according to the American Heart Association. The use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) by emergency responders offers a much greater chance of survival, but the Stillman Firefighter’s Association, which services an area of 65 square miles, currently only has access to one AED if both Paramedic ambulances are on emergency runs somewhere else.

Employees from the Ashton Monsanto Soybean Production site selected the Stillman Firefighter’s Association to receive a $7,393 grant from the Monsanto Fund’s 2015 site grant initiative to purchase seven AEDs. Representatives from the association and the fund celebrated the grant with a check presentation on June 22.

“I personally feel that an AED is one of the single most life-saving tools, credited with saving thousands of lives,” said Fire Chief Chad Hoefle. “Without these valuable tools, people I know would not be here to enjoy time with their loved ones. It’s not if we will use these AEDs, it’s when.”

The new AEDs, complete with an extra powerheart G5 battery, will be placed in all of the non-ambulance vehicles and in the fire department training room. To supplement the grant, the association held a community fundraiser to purchase additional medical equipment to assist with the use of the AEDs.

“The Stillman Fire Protection District is continually seeking ways to obtain funds from grants and other programs,” said Hoefle. “We want to lessen the burden on taxpayers. Our community comes first, and this is a great way to make sure our community members are safe.”

“It is great to help out our rural area fire department,” said Shane Ebersohl, operations supervisor at the site. “It services both the local community and a large rural area, which supports a lot of our local farmers.”

This year, the Monsanto Fund awarded more than $1.2 million to nonprofit organizations through the site grant initiative to help address essential needs in rural communities. Emergency response organizations across the country have received over $3.4 million from the fund since 2010.

Please feel free to stop by the Stillman Fire Station anytime Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with questions, or to see the equipment.

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

From left to right: Shane Ebersohl, Monsanto, Darren Files, Firefighter and Chad Hoefle, Fire Chief.

From left to right: Shane Ebersohl, Monsanto, Darren Files, Firefighter and Chad Hoefle, Fire Chief.

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