PHX Perspective

Sky Harbor Recognizes the 10th Anniversary of AED Installation

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the official kick-off of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program inside of its terminals.

To date, the program has saved 27 lives. The most recent AED save occurred earlier this year. On Jan. 14, a woman collapsed at the B15 gate in Terminal 4. Phoenix Airport Police Officer Tom Beck and Sergeant Jerry Wiegert responded to the call. When they arrived, they saw two individuals assisting the woman, Shane Wilton, a paramedic from Canada and passenger Dianne Jacobson. Wilton was administering CPR. Volunteer Navigator Tom Nunes had witnessed the woman’s collapse and quickly retrieved an AED machine from down the concourse. One shock was given on the AED. Jacobson obtained the breathing mask from the AED case and started breathing for the woman. SkyCap Stephen Randal also assisted with CPR after seeing Wilton and Jacobson working to help the woman. Officer Beck then assisted with chest compressions, and Jacobson and Beck continued breathing and compressions until the Phoenix Fire Department Station 19, C-Shift, arrived on-scene. The woman, who suffered a heart attack, was transported to the hospital. She recovered and was able to return home.

Sgt. Wiegert said that this was his first involvement with an AED save and commended everyone who worked together. “Everyone involved did an excellent job of communicating with each other throughout the incident and using the equipment to keep the victim alive.”

This latest save was made possible by the AED program which started over 10 years ago. Brenda Priddy was at the dedication 10 years ago in which former Mayor Skip Rimsza and former Councilman Dave Siebert kicked off the program and spoke about the importance of AEDs. Priddy became an activist for AEDs after her father passed away. She worked with the Mayor’s office to help get them installed at Phoenix Sky Harbor.

“It is important for people to know about AEDs and to be trained on them,” she said.

And, having AEDs readily available allows for trained individuals to be able to assist in the event of an emergency and to be able to help those undergoing cardiac arrest to get a second chance at life.

There are currently more than 85 AEDs available at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear airports, located in various public spaces and employee work areas. Airliners are also equipped with the devices, and officers with the Phoenix Police Airport Bureau as well as firefighters carry AEDs on their bikes with them at the Airport. To date, more than 2,000 Airport employees and volunteer Navigators have been trained to administer CPR and properly use AEDs should the need arise.

First posted: 2/15/11


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