L-R: Chris Kiser, Barton Foundation, Isaiah Tannaci, STHS, Justin Zunino and Kevin Hennessee of STHS & Dr. Todd Cutler, LTUSD

The Barton Health Foundation, as part of its Heart Safe Community program, donated three automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to aid in the response to heart issues at South Tahoe High School. This brings the number of the portable lifesaving machines the Foundation has given to Lake Tahoe Unified School District to 10.

These three state-of-the-art AEDs come in a backpack, easy for the high school’s sports teams to carry on road trips, or take onto the field and courts during home games, practices, and general physical education classes. Each has a value of $2,200.

“We’re glad to do this, it’s the right thing to do,” said Barton Foundation Executive Director Chris Kiser.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2,000 young, seemingly healthy people under age 25 in the United States die each year of sudden cardiac arrest.

Two recent high-profile cardiac arrests have brought the importance of quick responses to the forefront: 18-year-old Bronny James, son of NBA star LeBron James, and Buffalo Bills Safety, Damar Hamlin, were both saved by the quick use of an AED. Hamlin was just 24 years old at the time.

An AED is a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an AED can double, or even triple survival rates.

“An AED does not require a medical professional, making it an accessible, important tool for teachers, parents, and staff to have on hand in the event of an emergency,” said Kiser. “We are grateful to many generous donors who have contributed to this cause.”

For more information on the Heart Safe Community Program,  or to donate to the fund to help place more AEDs in our community, please CLICK HERE  or call  (530) 543-5612.