AED missing from sports complex during emergency

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- A local woman made it her mission to have AEDs --or automated defibrillators -- in public places after her husband had a heart attack at a sports complex-- and there weren't any around to save his life.

Now she's demanding answers after a sports complex in Liberty failed to provide one in an emergency last week.

One week ago, people at Fountain Bluff Sports Complex went into the concession stand room to look for the AED that's supposed to be there ... but it was no where to be found.

"On friday night the AED was not in the cabinet where it was supposed to be," said Denise Henning, who  was at her son's baseball game last Friday night when an umpire stopped breathing.

Those assisting the umpire went to find the AED...it wasn't there.

Fountain Bluff was one of the first sports complexes that Denise Henning approached about giving away AEDs after she lost her husband. Since they already had three, one for each of their sports venues within the park, they thought it would be better if she were able to donate them somewhere that had none.

"We did find that the AED was in the building, it just wasn't in its box," said Janet Bartnik, the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Liberty.

Bartnik says there could have been confusion because the typical staff wasn't present that night.

"It's very common for public fields to be utilized and rented for tournaments by private organizations -- this happened to be one of those evenings," adds Bartnik.

To ensure this doesn't happen again, Bartnik says they're adding signs and creating an emergency checklist for tournament renters so they know emergency procedures and where to find the equipment.

"I think that's a good first step toward improving the accessibility," said Henning, "If it's not accessible, the signage and the operating procedures don't do any good."

Since losing her husband, Henning keeps her own AED in her car... lucky for the umpire last week.

"I'm very happy that it had a better outcome in this circumstance than it did in ours," added Henning, "I really feel like this was a God thing on Friday night, that I was in the right place at the right time."

Liberty Parks and Recreation says it hopes an emergency like this doesn't happen again, but in case it does, their staff is prepared.

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