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LinkedIn: Ahead of the Curve

Dana Torres did not know what and AED was before she started working as an environmental health & safety specialist at LinkedIn in 2011. But she learned very quickly. As the contact person for over thirty of LinkedIn’s offices worldwide, Dana was responsible for placing AEDs and ensuring employees were educated on how to use the devices, perform CPR, and administer basic first aid. In 2010, LinkedIn (though they weren't required by law to do so) started placing AEDs on each floor of their office campuses worldwide.

Knowledge about AEDs and CPR has had a lasting positive effect on Dana and the lives of her colleagues around the globe. She hears stories from time to time. There was the employee from India who’d participated in the company’s CPR and AED training and saved the life of a fellow passenger who suffered cardiac arrest on an airplane. The victim survived. The day we spoke with Dana, she reported news of a fellow colleague at her Mountain View campus who, just that week, administered first aid on a car accident victim who crashed right in front of him. He credited our own Joe Kinson for helping him gain invaluable knowledge and potentially life-saving skills.

Dana calls Via’s executive director, Liz Lazar-Johnson, her go-to person and “one-stop shop” when it comes to coordinating all things health-related at their California campus. She appreciates the assurance and support the skilled staff and instructors at The Via Foundation bring to her workplace.

When asked what advice she’d share with other employers or organizations considering AEDs, she said, “Even though it’s not a requirement, when you look at the benefits, cost should not be an issue.” Dana says she now takes note of AEDs at her gym and when she’s out in public. Because of parent initiative, her children’s little league just purchased their first AED to bring to all of the kids’ games.

For Dana, simple awareness about AEDs is critical. “It’s equipment that you pass by every day and feel good that you've done your due diligence because you care about employee safety and welfare, though you hope you’ll never need to use it.” To date, LinkedIn has placed 72 defibrillators worldwide.

If you’d like The Via Foundation to be your one-stop shop for all things AED, CPR, and first aid related, we’d welcome an opportunity to evaluate your organization’s needs. From LinkedIn to little league, we want to bring AED and CPR awareness to as many people in our community as possible.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Introducing Wes Levitt

Please help us welcome Via's newest board member! 

Wes earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Oregon and is currently an associate at Redwood Trust, a real estate investment firm in Mill Valley, CA. He previously worked at Umpqua Bank in Eugene, OR, where he was active in the bank's Connect volunteer program. He is a Napa native and recently returned to the area after 20 years spent living in Oregon and central Texas.

His financial background qualified him for our Finance Committee, and Wes is getting his feet wet by studying our balance sheets, brainstorming fundraising ideas, and helping us with all things money.

Interesting Facts About Wes:

He once lived in a town so small that the nearest grocery store was 13 miles away.
He played in a punk rock band in high school, which in hindsight wasn't a very good one.
He is a die hard Portland Trail Blazers and University of Oregon sports fan, no matter how many times they've disappointed him.

Bob's Legal Corner

Dear Bob,

I’m not required to have an AED at my business, but I’m thinking of purchasing one. Are there any requirements for business owners regarding AEDs?  -A Good Citizen in Alameda

Dear Good Citizen,

Good for you! You are on your way to having a Heart Safe Place for your employees and customers.

As the popularity and lifesaving reputation of AEDs and individuals trained in CPR gains increased public attention, more and more of these devices are being purchased by smaller businesses, school districts and other organizations.  

Every state has some form of Good Samaritan Law to protect purchasers and users of AEDs from civil liability where an AED is used in a good faith to attempt to save the life of someone in distress. However, these Good Samaritan protections are not without reasonable conditions. These conditions vary between the states, but all are designed to assure that the AEDs available to the public are in good operating condition and overseen by trained medical professionals.

The conditions not only make a lot of sense, but are easy to meet and give the AED owner the peace of mind knowing that the AED is ready to perform if needed. Just as one would want to ensure a smoke alarm was equipped with fresh batteries or a fire extinguisher had the proper charge to operate.

If you’d like to learn more about the general requirements in your state, please contact The Via Foundation.  We are happy to help.

In Health,

Shocking Stuff

1) Our home city will be one step closer to being Heart Safe! The San Francisco SAFE Organization has raised enough funds to equip 44 SF Police cars with AEDs! As more sponsors sign up, more AEDs will be purchased and distributed to the 10 district stations. If you are interested in adopting a police car, please visit their website and become a supporter today. 

2) Via's own board president, Joe Novello, is REALLY afraid of being late to meetings. In fact, he's terrified. Cold sweat and all. We suspect this stems from years of responding to sudden cardiac arrests as an EMT and critical care nurse. When sudden cardiac arrest strikes, every minute that passes without defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10%. Joe knows minutes count!

3) The Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation in San Diego screened their 10,000th teen this year. That's a lot of heart screenings! Congrats to the Paredes family and the EP Save A Life Foundation! You have truly made a difference. Here are their impressive stats: 10,171 teens screened, 227 cardiac abnormalities found, 104 teens at risk for SCA. Find out more about what they do here:

4) When a church has an AED it's an automated eternal defibrillator. ;)

5) The 2014 California PTA Conference will be May 7-10 in Los Angeles. Via will be there, teaching CPR and AED skills, and applying Chain of Survival temporary tattoos to PTA members. Adorable, isn't it?

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