(Aspen, CO) High School students valley-wide are the target of a campaign to train as many people as possible how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and to do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This week all Aspen High School seniors will learn to save lives when members of the Aspen Ambulance District accompanied by emergency room doctors will be on hand at the high school to lead the trainings. The trainings are part of the mission of the “Save a Life Pitkin County” campaign that began last year to encourage and train the public to use AEDs and CPR in cases of cardiac arrest.
“There are over 200 AEDs located in public buildings in Pitkin County. We want the public to be comfortable using them if someone should collapse in front of them,” said Director of the Aspen Ambulance District, Jim Richardson. “If they wait for the ambulance to arrive to start CPR and use the AED it could be too late.”
Two high school students, one at Aspen High School and one at Summit High School in Frisco, have died in the last year from sudden cardiac arrest. A Canadian high school student attending the Aspen Basketball Academy last summer collapsed while making a “layup” in the high school gym last July. The Summit County Student collapsed during a wrestling practice.
Team Doctor for the Aspen High School Basketball Team, Dr. Kurt Papenfus says he imagines the day when every graduating high school senior has taken this life-saving training.
“We’ll never know if bystanders had used AEDs in either of these instances whether these young athletes would have survived. It has long been a goal of mine to see as many students trained in these life-saving techniques as possible,” Papenfus said.
Papenfus will be on hand, along with Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency Room Doctor, Chris Martinez to teach Aspen High School seniors this Tuesday and Wednesday, at the high school.
Arrangements are currently underway to train high school seniors in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs before the end of the school year.
For more information about the Save a Life Pitkin County efforts go to www.savealifepitkincounty.com.