U.P. Pink Power distributes 16 AED machines to local organizations around Upper Michigan

Published: May. 6, 2018 at 8:20 PM EDT
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16 locations around the Upper Peninsula are now equipped with new AED machines Sunday.

U.P. Pink Power, a local organization that works to provide help for people in need, was able to purchase these life-saving machines after the U.P. Pink Power Walk last month.

Tina Hiironen started the AED portion of U.P. Pink Power because her brother had a heart transplant with an implanted defibrillator. Seeing what it could do, she wanted to help others and maybe save a life.

Thanks to 294 participants, U.P. Pink Power raised about $29,000. Those funds purchased the 16 AED machines distributed Sunday, and also helped 609 families throughout the U.P. with the leftover funds.

This year the 16 organizations included six churches, four businesses, four community buildings, one sport complex and one resort. The list included Interlochen Resort in McMillan, Lake State Industries in Marquette, Ontonagon Eagles in Ontonagon, St. Anthony's Parish in Gwinn, Crossroads Alliance in Norway, Marq-Tran in Marquette, Ontonagon Hockey in Ontonagon, Dickinson Co. Rd. C. in Felch, Christ the King in Escanaba, Rapid River Lions in Rapid River, Pine Stump Bar in Newberry, Ewen Civic Association in Ewen, VFW #5670 in Gwinn, St. Paul Church in Mass City, Memorial United in Gladstone, and Trinity Lutheran in Bergland.

Since 2013, the organization has purchased 117 AEDs.

"It's actually overwhelming. The phone calls I've made and the people I've talked with over the years and the stories that I've heard - one woman in particular this year from Ontonagon County, her husband passed away this year, and she'll never know if an AED could have saved his life. They did get a heartbeat but they couldn't keep it," explains Tina Hiironen, AED Coordinator for U.P. Pink Power.

Hiironen says she's known at least three people who've said the AEDs from U.P. Pink Power have been used to save a life.

"This is a lot of work, a lot of time spent but stuff like that is all worth while," Hiironen says.

U.P. Pink Power has provided AEDs for all of the counties across Upper Michigan except Chippewa County, but they've requested to be on the list for next year's distribution.

If you'd like information on how you can purchase an AED for your organization or business, you can visit