Grant pays for life-saving devices |

Grant pays for life-saving devices

NICOLE FORMOSAsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily file photo

ARAPAHOE BASIN – Skiers and riders resting in Arapahoe Basin’s new mid-mountain lodge or enjoying a post-ski beer at the A-Frame bar probably aren’t thinking about what would happen if they, or somebody around them, went into cardiac arrest.But the ski area is, and thanks to the county’s Keep the Beat Public AED project, it has provided an extra aide just in case people encounter such a situation.Keep the Beat, which is coordinated through Summit County Ambulance Service, recently outfitted the ski area with three automatic external defibrillators (AED) through its grant process. One AED replaced an older machine in the ski patrol headquarters and the other two are available for public use – one is at the Black Mountain Lodge at the top of the Exhibition Lift and another sits inside the A-Frame.

The devices allow someone to deliver an electric shock to a patient’s chest and then walk the user through the steps of giving CPR.That means anyone from the public who witnesses someone go into cardiac arrest can begin administering care right away, as opposed to waiting for trained medical staff to arrive.”People are just so used to seeing (AEDs) around – airports, casinos, wherever there are large groups of people gathering – who knows, maybe it doesn’t need to be a trained rescuer at this point,” said Tony Cammarata, assistant ski patrol director at A-Basin. Keep the Beat is funded by a 3-year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ rural health office. Since it began more than two years ago, Keep the Beat has provided 130 AEDs to public places across the county, including five at Copper Mountain Resort, said project coordinator Lin Denham. Keystone and Breckenridge mountains both provide AEDs through a different program, she said.

By the time the program has equipped all the local schools with AEDs, the number of machines in the county provided by Keep the Beat will reach 160.So far, none has been used by a member of the public in an emergency because the uses to date have been in law enforcement situations and all local police cars also carry AEDs, Denham said. “We hope that nobody ever has to use them – we’re just hopefully making them convenient in the event of an emergency,” she said.

Keep the Beat has also provided free CPR/AED training to 1,000 local residents and hopes to reach 200 to 300 more people by the time its funding ends in August, Denham said.For more information on Keep the Beat, call Denham at (970) 668-9466.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at

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