Victims of cardiac arrest and others in need of emergency care in downtown Woodside now have an inanimate but vital friend just outside the main fire station on Woodside Road.
The 10-foot red pole with a blue light on top is equipped to call 911 and is outfitted with an automated defibrillator and hands-free two-way communication with a dispatcher when using it to shock a stopped heart back into action. The dispatcher also has the option of sending help.
A dedication ceremony for this "emergency response tower" is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the fire station at 3111 Woodside Road, the headquarters of the Woodside Fire Protection District, fire district officials said.
Funding of more than $20,000 for this device came from the Sequoia Healthcare District, a special district that distributes property tax revenues in support of public health in southern San Mateo County communities, including Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park and Portola Valley.
To install this device, the healthcare district engaged with the Woodside AED Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2006 and "dedicated to creating a heart-safe community within the Woodside Fire Protection District by creating awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and improving public access to potentially lifesaving automated external defibrillators," the statement said.
The Woodside Fire Protection District provides firefighting and emergency services to the communities of Woodside, Portola Valley and the nearby unincorporated communities such as Ladera, Los Trancos Woods and Emerald Hills.
The healthcare district, which has its own HeartSafe program, is responsible for placing more than 300 defibrillator-only devices throughout the district over five years, and has trained more than 10,000 people in techniques for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, the statement said.
The dedication ceremony will include remarks by healthcare district board President Kim Griffin, Woodside Mayor David Tanner, and San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley.