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Emergency Commission OKs temporary full-time employee, grants for AEDs

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North Dakota's Emergency Commission has approved a proposal by the state Health Department to convert a temporary part time position within its Life, Safety and Construction Division to a temporary full-time position.

That person would help review construction plans for long term care facilities and hospitals. That review is required by state law.

"We had advertised the position, but have not been successful at receiving applicants," Health Department Chief Financial Officer Brenda Weisz told the Commission. "Because of the lack of benefits, no one is coming to apply. We're trying this new plan to attract someone to help."

Weisz said there is a backlog on project approval.

"There are currently 12 projects that are out there, plus and additional 3 that are awaiting review," Weisz said. "We have the Altru (Grand Forks) and Prairie St. John (Fargo) large hospital projects, and we also have renovation projects," Weisa said. "They have to go through Life, Safety and Construction."

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The Commission has also okayed the Health Department’s plan to accept more than $3.5 million from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The money will be used to buy 1733 new automatic external defibrillators for all law enforcement personnel in the state. That grant will also provide training for AED use.

Weisz said some of the newer, existing AEDs will be given to communities to update their equipment.

"So there's a positive 'hand-me-down' effect, in addition to supporting law enforcement," said Commission chair Gov. Doug Burgum. "Other communities will potentially receive newer equipment than they already have."

Both proposals will have to be approved by the Legislature's Budget Section, which meets next week.

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