“Sunnyvale School District has become a safer place to learn, work, visit, run and play with the implementation of our AED program,” Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Benjamin Picard stated.
Early this summer, Sunnyvale School District’s Board of Education raised the bar of school safety after they approved Board Policies authorizing a comprehensive Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program. The program was rolled out the first week of school with a minimum of 40 staff members CPR/ AED trained and 24 AED’s were placed throughout the district. The AED’s were installed at all ten school sites in the district including the Operations Department and the District Office. The middle schools each have ‘mobile units’ that will be made accessible to after school sporting events.
The funding for this program is a partnership between the Sunnyvale School District and the Santa Clara County School Insurance Group utilizing funds targeting student and employee safety.
In the US, there are currently only 15 states that require and/or support AED’s on school campuses. Unfortunately, California does not require AED’s in schools; however, since 2005 the State Legislature has ‘urged’ all California public schools, K-12, to implement AED programs.
Sunnyvale School District is the fourth known school district in Santa Clara County to be proactive in putting AED’s in their schools.
In Santa Clara County alone we have many survivors because of immediate, good quality CPR and use of an AED. When Theresa Doede heard the good news about the district she said, “As a survivor of cardiac arrest 2 years ago in Santa Clara County, I am only here because of the fast action of a by-stander and a readily available AED. Cardiac arrest does not discriminate in any manner, including happening to our children. Having AED’s in all levels of our schools is such an important step in the right direction to increase our survival numbers. I only hope more schools across our nation follow suit.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is responsible for nearly 383,000 deaths in the US every year. At least 17,000 of those deaths are youths under 18 years old. This figure doesn’t include incidences of Commotio Cordis—- which is a disruption of the hearts electrical rhythm that results from a blow to the chest during a certain point in the heart beat. Most Commotio Cordis victims are young athletes.
In April of this year, an 8 year old, Matthew Henry from Rohnert Park, survived Commotio Cordis after he was hit during a little league game and collapsed as he was taking a base. Thankfully, there were trained bystanders who immediately performed CPR until paramedics arrived with an AED.
Because of such incidences, in May 2013 the Assembly passed ACR 47, a resolution by Assembly member Nancy Skinner to dedicate the first week of June as Commotio Cordis Awareness week in California.
On a National level, the first week in June is CPR/AED Awareness Week.
Readiness is more than having an AED available and the district understands this… This is why their program encompasses CPR/AED training, and tracking and monitoring of the AED’s to ensure a high quality operational readiness system.
The comprehensive AED program that the district has purchased aligns with the City of Sunnyvale’s Public Safety Department’s program and will be managed by HeartReady, whose founder, Lori Lopez, knows first-hand how critical an AED can be to the survival of a cardiac arrest patient. Her stepfather is a survivor because of immediate good quality CPR and use of an AED.
For more information on AED Readiness Programs, CPR/AED training, and grant funded programs please contact Lori Lopez from HeartReady at 408-278-1500 or email:
Article by Lori Lopez, President/HeartReady