Even one death has a big impact in an isolated resort community like Telluride, CO. Several out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and unsuccessful resuscitations have troubled the small community in recent years.
In large communities, AED’s have become ubiquitous in airports and public places but there were none in sight in Telluride. This all changed last year when a local cardiologist, Dr Mark Rosenthal, organized a group of community leaders, law enforcement, fire dept, emergency personnel and doctors to develop a public access defibrillator program for the Telluride region.
The response was enthusiastic and planning for what would become the TPAD Program (Telluride Public Access Defibrillator Program) spanned over the next six months.
Dr. Rosenthal contacted Life Saving Solutions founder and CEO Jeff Zeiler, to discuss AED options. Soon, Jeff was on the road to Telluride for the first of many meetings with the planning group to discuss site selection, equipment options and project funding.
Special AED needs were addressed for the ski community due to the extended winter season. For example, LSS arranged for heated AED cabinets to be delivered for the outdoor sites in Telluride and Mountain Village. Those sites included the Gondola Stations, the Town Park, and the main streets of Telluride.
As of July 2007, the program has deployed over 30 AEDs into the community of 3000 full-time residents. The ratio of AED’s available per citizen could be a record for a remote mountain resort. The location of each AED located within Telluride and Mountain Village is prominently displayed on the Official Telluride Visitor Maps and was determined in coordination with the local authorities and Life Saving Solutions.
The Telluride School District has 5 AED’s and will also integrate CPR/AED training into the school curriculum. Three of the AEDs are placed in the schools, while the last two are available to travel to sporting events or school field trips.
Additionally, the high school has introduced CPR training into its health curriculum so that all students will have been trained by the time of graduation.
Phase II of the program is community-wide CPR/AED training with the first classes beginning in May of 2007 “ the ultimate goal is to train every resident of Telluride and its neighboring communities,” says Jeff Zeiler, CEO of Life Saving Solutions.
Initial funding support for the training program has come from both the Telluride Association of Realtors and the Telluride Foundation.
With widespread AED deployment and community-wide CPR training, the mountain resort community of Telluride, Colorado is fast becoming the model for a safe winter and summer travel destination as well as a safer community in which to live.
The collaboration between Life Saving Solutions and a resort community such as Telluride will certainly become a model for future public / private public access defibrillation programs.
About Life Saving Solutions, Inc.
Life Saving Solutions, Inc. (savingalife.com) is a program service company specializing in Automated External Defibrillator (AED) sales and program implementation. Representing AED manufacturers such as Philips, Cardiac Science, and Zoll, Life Saving Solutions has put together the best in class products and service offerings. Life Saving Solutions’ services include site assessment, site specific policy and procedures, monitoring of current guidelines and legislation, CPR/AED training, AED sales, consulting, coordination of installations with the local Fire and EMS agencies, and online data management services. Their programs are tailored to the unique requirements of each customer, ensuring they have a compliant and life saving AED program.