Fund-raiser provides for 96 defibrillators |

Fund-raiser provides for 96 defibrillators

Tahoe Daily Tribune

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily TribuneDisplaying automated defibrillators purchased through the Straight to the Heart Campaign " are, from left, front row, Kathy Anastasi, Straight from the Heart Campaign coordinator, and Linda Thompson, Barton Foundation" executive director. In the back row are Gary Moore, SLT Ice Arena director; Dede Lehnhardt, SLT Recreation Complex; John Collins, SLT Senior Center director; Mike Chandler, SLT Fire Chief; and Fred Kollar, El Dorado County undersheriff.

Two years ago Katherine Anastasi, CPA, an El Dorado Hills resident and Folsom businesswomen, set out on a mission to make communities safer by creating the Straight to the Heart Campaign”. It was a start to what would become a much larger project, heading up the hill to Placerville, over the mountain top to South Lake Tahoe and into the flats of Carson Valley. By the time each area completed its fund-raising efforts, 96 automated external defibrillators were placed in front line positions through the campaign.

On behalf of Barton Hospital Foundation and the emergency services of the county and city, the foundation is pleased to share its success in the Straight to the Heart Campaign” for the community.

This year-long campaign was to raise funds to purchase automated external defibrillators for the community. Although Barton Memorial Hospital Foundation conducted the fund-raising, no units will be placed at Barton Hospital. This was taken on as a community benefit to enhance medical services and access for residents and visitors. They will be placed in high traffic facilities, the most urgent and likely known to use this equipment and in mobile units.

The intent of the project was to purchase units for placement in first-to-arrive on the scene emergency vehicles. In doing this, Barton Hospital Foundation worked with the El Dorado County Sheriff, South Lake Tahoe Fire and Police and Lake Valley Fire on the California side. Moving into Douglas County, the foundation worked with the county manager, East Fork Fire and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Twenty Suvivalink” units were recently purchased from Cardiac Science” for placement in El Dorado County Sheriff patrol cars and boat on the East Slope, South Lake Tahoe Fire vehicles, South Lake Tahoe Senior Center, South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena, South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex, Douglas County Senior Centers, Kahle Community Park, East Fork Fire vehicles, Douglas County Government Center and some additional areas as determined by the Douglas County panel.

Curt Warren, assistant chief at Lake Valley Fire Protection District said, “The contribution of two Cardiac Science Suvivalink” will enhance our paid and volunteers life giving and life saving efforts.”

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El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office has been represented from the start by the Undersheriff Fred Kollar, with full backing of the department. Extensive protocols and procedures have been designed to introduce this equipment into the mobile units. With this equipment available in remote areas and on the lake it is expected that lives will be saved.

In today’s CPR training courses, AED training is included. All recipient agencies will receive additional training through their trained staff advocates. With the equipment so easy to use and so user-friendly, it is highly likely that anyone could grab the equipment in a moment of chaos and use it accurately. The equipment has a voice prompt that guides the user through the process, and the one-button operation helps eliminate confusion and uncertainty, allowing the provider a more secure method of walking through the simple steps.

“Barton Foundation board extends their appreciation to all 80 individuals and groups who helped fund these purchases. Although it would be best to not have to have these united, the reality shows that they will be used, and they will save lives,” said, Linda Thompson, Barton Foundation executive director.