Eagle County resident Lynn Blake’s life was saved by an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – the thing that “shocks” your heart with pads – in 2007. Since then, she has been mapping out locations in the county where she feels AEDs should be located. The chairlifts at Vail and Beaver Creek were the first locations she identified. Years later, her vision has come true.
In partnership with the nonprofit Starting Hearts, an organization dedicated to saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through training and access programs, Blake was proud to announce the addition of 10 new public access AEDs at Vail and Beaver Creek. This brings the total AEDs in the area to 400, which Vail Mayor Dave Chapin states is the highest in the country.
A new defibrillator is unveiled by Starting Hearts at the base of Gondola One at Vail on Saturday. Image: Vail Daily
A representative from Phillips Healthcare, who provided the AEDs, stated that they have started similar programs in Europe, but this is the first in the US. The AEDs are equipped with new technology called SmartLink, which will automatically check each AED daily and send a function report back to Phillips.
Particpants in one of Starting Hearts’ “Call, Push, Shock” CPR programs. Image: ourcommunityfoundation.org
Vail Ski Patroller Brice May, who trained over 800 employees in Starting Hearts’ “Call, Push, Shock” program after learning about it from Blake, commented that Vail Resorts was fully supportive of the initiative.