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Life Saving Defibrillator Program Launches in Los Gatos


SAN JOSE— A new effort launched today that could help turn ordinary Los Gatos residents into life-saving heroes. By installing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at high-risk locations throughout the town, the program aims to reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. 

“Sudden cardiac arrest is a killer, but it doesn't have to be,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. “These 21st-century AED's are as close to foolproof as anything can be, and blanketing the community with them really can save lives.”

With that in mind, Simitian proposed that the County fund a pilot project in Mountain View last year that became the basis for the Los Gatos project, and a similar project in Campbell.  “A good idea becomes even better when we share it,” said Simitian, who proposed the effort in Los Gatos and Campbell, building on the success of the Mountain View pilot. “Folks in every part of the County should have the chance to save a life, and this program will make sure that they do.” 

The County, through a partnership with El Camino Hospital and the grassroots organization Racing Hearts, will install AEDs in schools, police vehicles, and other key locations throughout Los Gatos and Campbell. The program was launched at Blossom Hill Elementary School today in Los Gatos, where a class of fifth grade students was taught how to use CPR and AEDs by representatives from El Camino Hospital and Racing Hearts.

“These kids now know that, if necessary, they can help someone in need,” Simitian said. “This training gives them the know-how to use what can be a life-saving tool in a critical situation.” 

In June, building on the efforts in Mountain View, Los Gatos, and Campbell, Supervisor Cindy Chavez proposed, and the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved, the establishment of a $500,000 AED Matching Funds Reserve to broaden the scope of the AED program to other cities, school districts, and organizations. “The availability and use of AEDs may make the difference between a person being transported to a trauma center or emergency room for treatment rather than being transported for the determination of death,” said Supervisor Chavez.

“The installation of AEDs throughout Los Gatos is the most recent way that the County is providing real life help to our residents on a daily basis,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who represents Los Gatos on the County Board of Supervisors. “I have no doubt that these devices will help save lives.”