Former Chaska mayor on a mission to get AEDs everywhere

After strangers saved his life one year ago, the former mayor of Chaska has gone on to advocate for more automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public recreation areas.

Bob Roepke had just finished presenting at a fundraiser for Chaska High School when he collapsed. Several attendees of the event immediately got going with CPR, while another grabbed the AED. 

Unbeknownst to Roepke at the time, he was in full cardiac arrest. The first woman to start CPR, Gina Edison, says there’s no question in her mind the AED saved Roepke.

"Bob was gone. All the physical signs were there that he was not going to make it," said Edison. "That defibrillator went on…and he woke back up."

Roepke has since encouraged everyone he knows to do CPR training, and has been the inspiration behind several additional AED’s around town.

FOX 9 caught up with Roepke at the Chaska Athletic Park Thursday, as he’s the Chair of the Chaska Amateur Baseball League. Even at the outdoor ballpark, he’s been the driving force in having an AED installed. 

"It's hard not to think about it almost everyday," said Roepke. "You know, you’re grateful. Grateful for small things."