County first in state to have AEDs at every public school

Equipment installed through partnership with nonprofit Racing Hearts

Santa Clara County has become the first in the state to equip each of its public schools with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to combat sudden heart attacks among young people, the county reported Wednesday.

The nonprofit Racing Hearts began installing the equipment as a pilot program in 2014, which has since grown to 810 AEDs spread among elementary, middle and high schools in the county. The organization has been active in adding AEDs throughout Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and the rest of the county.

County officials said fewer than 10 percent of local public schools had access to the equipment four years ago.

"It's a milestone moment for the people in our county," County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said in a news release. "We had a goal of equipping all schools and we did it."

The AED models are designed for easy usage to defibrillate a heart attack victim before an ambulance arrives.

More than 7,000 young people, mainly between the ages of 10 to 19, die each year from sudden heart attacks, according to county officials, who said heart attacks can strike people of any age or fitness level.

Victims survive about 5 to 8 percent of the time when receiving only CPR, but 80 percent survive through the use of AEDs, county officials said.

"I am so proud that Santa Clara County is the first county in the state to have this necessary life-saving equipment on each of its campuses," County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan said in a news release.

The equipment was funded through $1 million in matching funds from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors with local school districts, nonprofits, foundations and individuals, according to the county.


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


2 people like this
Posted by South Gate
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 29, 2018 at 8:32 pm

South Gate is a registered user.

What wonderful news! Congratulations to Racing Hearts for this work. Our students and families are lucky to have these devices in all schools and so many parks. They are literally life savers.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Contemporary Indian restaurant, Ettan, headed to Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 6,244 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,487 views

Two degrees can do all that?
By Sherry Listgarten | 15 comments | 1,223 views

Is racism also a local problem?
By Diana Diamond | 41 comments | 1,208 views

Tame, Maim and Claim the Wild Sea Vegetable
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 710 views


Register today!

‚ÄčOn Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More