Starting Hearts enters into regional partnership with emergency medical, trauma care council | VailDaily.com

Starting Hearts enters into regional partnership with emergency medical, trauma care council

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Photo by Gretel Daugherty -- Fruita Monument High School sophomores Meredith Soychak, 15, left, and Kaila Kerstetter, also 15, practice their new-found skill of chest compressions as instructor Fidel Garcia dances in the background to the Saturday Night Fever theme song during a P.U.L.S.E. class in saving lives Wednesday. VIDEO BY RICHIE

VAIL — Central Mountains Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council, a regional agency authorized by statute to provide a coordinated approach to emergency medical and trauma care, and Starting Hearts, a Vail Valley-based nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims, have entered into a strategic alliance agreement to improve cardiac arrest outcomes in six Colorado counties: Chaffee, Eagle, Lake, Park, Pitkin and Summit counties.

The partners will establish a collaborative relationship to best utilize their respective resources to manage a comprehensive program to support or provide: certification education of professional responders, including paramedics, police officers, fire fighters, and sheriff personnel; train citizen first responders in lifesaving CPR and defibrillation skills; and develop a body of data on outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest events to enhance infrastructure, systems, and procedures to raise survival rates in the region.

"This partnership will allow the (regional council) to get more responders and citizens trained in every community we serve and fulfills part of our strategic plan for education throughout the region," according to Executive Director Anne Montera. "The (council) board and staff strive to create partnerships, like with Starting Hearts, that are valuable and stretch our regional funds."

"We are so grateful to (the council) for the support and close cooperation with us in making our home and the six-county region one of the safest in the nation to suffer a cardiac arrest and not only survive, but thrive," stated Lynn Blake, founder of Starting Hearts and a sudden cardiac arrest survivor. "Our initial focus will be to offer the Starting Hearts lifesaving and leadership curriculum throughout the region. With over 15,000 taught in Eagle County, we will endeavor to train thousands more "Neighbor Savers" across the six counties to provide early care when needed to save precious lives."

For more information, go to http://www.startinghearts.org.