--Oakland Fire Department Trains Airport Personnel As Emergency First-Responders--
Port of Oakland and Oakland Fire Department jointly announced today that they have completed installation of and training in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at Oakland International Airport (OAK). Oakland Fire Department personnel trained and certified 30 Port Aviation Division employees as first-responders to sudden cardiac arrest (heart attack) emergencies where cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED intervention is necessary. Additionally, other airport personnel, including tenants and approximately 90 volunteer airport ambassadors, were trained to operate AEDs which can increase the odds of survival for sudden cardiac arrest victims.
OAK has installed a total of 16 AEDs - 15 throughout Terminals 1 and 2 and one in a Port administration building located at the airport's North Field. The units are wall-mounted and available for public access in the event of someone suffering sudden cardiac arrest. The $30,000 cost for AED equipment purchase, installation, on-going maintenance and training is funded through Port of Oakland operating revenues. Another 16 units will be installed in additional areas of the airport by year-end.
An AED is a small, lightweight device with a built-in computer which assesses a patient's heart rhythm through adhesive electrodes. When a heart's rhythm goes into an uncoordinated electrical activity called fibrillation, the heart twitches ineffectively and can't pump blood. This condition often causes severe heart attack when the patient's heart appears to have stopped beating.
An AED automatically judges whether defibrillation is needed, and, if necessary, delivers an appropriate level of electric current through the chest wall to the heart muscle, momentarily stunning the heart and stopping all activity. This gives the heart an opportunity to resume beating effectively. According to the American Heart Association, for every minute a victim remains unresuscitated, chances of survival decrease by seven percent to 10 percent. A victim's best chance for survival is when there is revival within four minutes. In just 10 minutes, survival rates drop to almost zero.
AEDs enable more people to respond to a medical emergency that requires defibrillation. They are designed for use by the public and lay rescuers without medical backgrounds, by easily guiding the AED operator through the defibrillation process with audible and visual prompts.
"The American Heart Association supports increased public access to AEDs in settings where large numbers of people congregate, live or work, resulting in thousands of lives being saved each year. Oakland International Airport is one such venue by having served 14.1 million passengers in 2004 and employing over 8,000 employees," said Steven J. Grossman, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland, which operates the airport. "If just one life can be saved as a result of the Port's investment in AED equipment and training, then the value of this emergency preparedness program is priceless."
Each year, over 250,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest. It is the number one health-related killer of people in the U.S. Many of those deaths could be prevented. In 2004, Oakland Fire Department personnel responded to nearly 125 cardiac related emergencies at OAK.
According to Oakland Fire Department Chief Dan Farrell, "There is tremendous added value to the lives of citizens of Oakland and Oakland International Airport employees and travelers that we have additional resources to assist the fire department in preventing unnecessary deaths."
OAK has over 200 flights a day on 12 domestic and international carriers to 39 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, Boston, the Hawaiian Islands, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Mexico beach cities, and seasonal service to the Azores (Portugal), Costa Rica and Sun Valley, Idaho. OAK served 14.1 million passengers and handled 672,000 metric tons of cargo in 2004. The airport is a revenue division of the Port of Oakland, an independent department of the city of Oakland.
OAK broke ground on its Terminal 2 improvement project in April 2004. This $110 million project, to be completed by fall 2006, includes construction of a new concourse with five additional boarding gates and waiting areas; a modern, centralized food, beverage and retail shopping area; expanded ticketing, security and baggage claim facilities; and new utilities. Also, the airport expects to begin improvements to the terminal roadway and curbside areas in 2005 to ease congestion in front of the terminals. Visit oaklandairport.com for more information.