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Friday, September 30, 2005

Clear !

A shocking development has recently surfaced in the form of an email sent to all employees at my work. After five years of political wrangling and budgetary issues, the Safety & Security department has just deployed its compliment of AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) across our campus.

I never thought this day would come.

AEDs are compact machines that can be used to revive a person who is experiencing sudden-onset cardiac arrest. They automatically detect if the heart is in a deadly rhythm, and deliver shocks if needed. Make no mistake, these things save lives. It has been proven again and again with research. And because they are so easy for the general, untrained population to use, they are becoming ubiquitous in areas where crowds gather - malls, airports, fitness centers and workplaces.

Many of us on the Emergency Response Team had nearly given up hope that we would ever have them here at our company. For years, the program was shuffled around in circles, always stalling, continually being placed on the back-burner by a management team that didn't have the guts to fight for it. Us volunteers all believed in the life-saving properties of these devices, but passion alone could not guarantee their procurement.

Let's face it. We work in an extremely high-stress environment, one that encourages long hours and 110% dedication. There are several thousand stressed-out employees, who barely have time to go to the restroom (let alone eat and exercise), all in the same place for 40+ hours per week. This Silicon Valley pressure cooker, dispersed across our sprawling company headquarters, is a recipe for disaster.

Now, we have one more tool in our arsenal to help our fellow employees.

I'm so excited. I literally had tears in my eyes when I picked mine up.

We even had a formal ceremony with an official hand-off to Rick, our most vocal and passionate proponent of these live-saving devices.


Lance, Rick and the Fluffy Rick Bow.

I hope we will never need to use them. But if we do, they are here.

Take a look around you the next time you're at a shopping mall, convention center, airport or bus terminal. Chances are, there is an AED within reach. Be comforted knowing that they're available if needed.

It took years of fighting, steadfast dedication, and the cooperation and hard work of a courageous manager and team, to make this happen.

If it saves just one life, it will be worth it all.

Links to articles:
Red Cross AED Informational Page
2002 Study Results Underscore Need for AEDs in Public Places
2003 Study on Public Use of AEDs

2 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Andrea,
Looking at your blog archives, I notice you just had the 5 year anniversary of your blog! That's huge!

Happy Anniversary!

James

October 1, 2005 at 10:53:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous densaer said...

I just saw a TV commercial for the Phillips Heart Start AED .... it uses the image of an ambulance caught in traffic to demonstrate why you should have an AED at home.

October 13, 2005 at 3:25:00 PM PDT  

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