Vail Daily column: Starting Hearts aims to increase AEDs
Ryan Summerlin July 28, 2014
Editor’s note: This column, submitted by Vail Resorts, showcases the nonprofits that the company supports through its Vail Resorts Echo program.
It happens in an instant. Someone is right there next to you and suddenly they collapse and are not breathing, not responding. Something is terribly wrong.
If you were in the room the moment someone collapsed, what would you do? A hint: it can be summarized in three words: “Call, push, shock.”
Lynn Blake experienced this scenario. After she collapsed, co-workers instinctively called 911 and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When paramedics arrived with an automated external defibrillator, Blake’s heart was shocked back to life. She is among a very select group — only 10 percent survive what she experienced — sudden cardiac arrest.
Starting Hearts Is Born
Blake has since made it her mission to save others through Starting Hearts, an Eagle County nonprofit that she formed in 2010. Starting Hearts hopes to make “call, push, shock” as familiar as “stop, drop, roll” and AEDs as accessible as fire extinguishers.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Increasing the survival rate is almost solely dependent on bystander intervention, coupled with the availability of AEDs. With the help of Vail Resorts Ski Patrol personnel, Starting Hearts offers “call, push, shock” training sessions at no charge and is working to increase the number of AEDs in Eagle County. It is also now able to connect willing and trained volunteers into its Neighbor Saver program that sends alerts to your phone when CPR/AED assistance is needed and emergency responders are en route.
Starting Hearts relies on support from the community. The organization also hosts fundraising events including Rembrandt Art For Hearts, coming up July 31–Aug. 7 in the Grand View Room in Lionshead. One of the world’s largest compilations of original Rembrandt etchings will be on display to the public. One-hundred percent of the proceeds benefit Starting Hearts. Volunteers are also needed to help with the event. Please visit Starting Hearts.org for more information.
Cheryl Lindstrom is a grants and communications consultant for Starting Hearts. Through Vail Resorts Echo, Vail Resorts hopes to connect its communities to its efforts — from on the ground conservation programs to grants for local schools. Aimed at both protecting the natural resources that surround the resorts and helping build stronger communities where its employees live and work, Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Learn more at www.vail resortsecho.com.