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Defibrillators installed at South Lake Tahoe city buildings

Tracy Franklin
City of South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin VanKirk and Fire Captain/Paramedic Wayne “Marty” Cree stand near a newly installed automated external defibrillator.
Photos courtesy Tracy Franklin |

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department installed Automated External Defibrillators in all city-staffed buildings this week, including the airport, Parks and Recreation Swim Complex, motor pool, senior center, transit center, services center and police department.

An AED is programmed to tell rescuers exactly what to do using voice and visual prompts. Rescuers attach adhesive electrode pads to a person’s chest. Through these electrodes, the AED is designed to automatically analyze the electrical activity of the heart to determine if a “shockable” rhythm is present. Unlike regular defibrillators, an automated external defibrillator requires minimal training to use. It automatically diagnoses the heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. With voice prompts and pictures, the AED guides rescuers through the resuscitation process, advising when to give CPR. If the AED determines the person’s heart needs a shock, it tells rescuers to stand back so a shock can be safely given through the adhesive electrode pads affixed to the person’s chest.

“The importance of early CPR and defibrillation within the first three minutes is imperative to a patient’s survival. Each minute past that initial three minute window decreases a favorable outcome for the patients,” said South Lake Tahoe Fire Department Captain Wayne “Marty” Creel.

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department performed a demonstration involving a heart attack patient earlier this year at a city staff meeting. The experience inspired the research and purchase of the AEDs for all city-staffed buildings.


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