Supervisor Dave Pine Champions Measure K Grant for “Heart Safe Schools” program
REDWOOD CITY – Today, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a grant for $78,000 from Measure K funds to the Via Heart Project to purchase and install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and provide certified CPR/AED training for 20 sites within the South San Francisco Unified School District.
The SSFUSD “Heart Safe Schools” program will consist of 43 AED Packages (includes indoor wall cabinets) for 20 sites. Nineteen American Heart Association certified CPR and AED classes will be scheduled to train up to 190 district faculty and staff members.
“Death from sudden cardiac arrest is preventable,” said Supervisor Dave Pine. “By providing AEDs throughout the school district and training staff on how to use them, we can save lives.”
Via Heart Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Francisco committed to increasing the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the community. SCA claims more lives each year – approximately 350,000 deaths in America alone – than breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined. An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 of these deaths are school aged children. Most die suddenly from an undetected heart defect that induces cardiac arrest. By placing and maintaining AEDs, teaching CPR, and screening young hearts for congenital birth defects, Via Heart Project is creating Heart Safe Schools throughout the Bay Area.
The South San Francisco Unified School District serves more than 8,500 students at 20 distinct sites, including nine elementary, three middle, and three high schools, plus four specialized sites and the district office. The $78,000 grant approved today will provide a sufficient number of AEDs to service the users at each of these sites.
“As a former public safety dispatcher, I know that seconds count in cardiac issues. Having AEDs on campus gives us those precious seconds and could save lives,” said SSFUSD Board President John Baker. “We are very grateful to Supervisor Pine and the County for making the health of our students, staff and community a priority.”
“Bystander CPR and early defibrillation are essential to preventing death by cardiac arrest,” said Liz Lazar, executive director of the Via Heart Project. “Teaching CPR to school faculty, placing AEDs on campus, and properly maintaining the devices in accordance with state and local regulations will create Heart Safe Campuses in the city of South San Francisco.”
Measure K is a 20-year extension of the countywide half-cent sales tax passed by local voters in November 2016 to support essential County services and to maintain or replace critical facilities.