Though trained personnel will staff the recreation facilities where the AEDs were installed, anyone should be able to use one in an emergency, said assistant Parks and Recreation director Rich Hanna. (Courtesy photo)

Adhering to the principle that one can never be too safe, Santa Barbara has installed emergency defibrillators at five of its recreation facilities.

The devices were originally ordered by the Santa Barbara City Fire Department to install in each of its engines.

Surplus automated external defibrillators were handed over to the Parks and Recreation Department and placed in five of its facilities that see a high amount of physical and sports activity.

“We are extremely excited to have these units, and although we do not have a high frequency of cardiac emergencies, we do serve a broad population, and you can never be too prepared,” assistant Parks and Recreation director Rich Hanna told Noozhawk.

The portable devices are used when a person goes into cardiac arrest. After evaluating a person’s heart rhythm, the devices get the heart beating again by sending it an electric shock through two pads stuck onto the person’s chest.

The sites with AEDs include the Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse at 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., the Carrillo Recreation Center at 100 E. Carrillo St., Los Baños del Mar Pool at 401 Shoreline Dr., the Santa Barbara Golf Club’s Mulligan’s Café at 3500 McCaw Ave., and a lifeguard vehicle based at East Beach.

Hanna said that in the past five years, Parks and Recreation Department facilities have experienced three cardiac emergencies: one each at Los Baños del Mar Pool, the golf course and the Carrillo Recreation Center.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 90 percent of people who experience sudden cardiac arrest die, typically within minutes, which makes an AED an incredibly valuable tool.

The chance of survival doubles with the immediate use of an AED and CPR.

Though each of the five facilities will have trained staff who Hanna said “should definitely be involved in administering patient care,” anyone available during an emergency can remove and unpack an AED from its wall mount and follow the device’s instructions.

Scroll down for the instructional video city staff used for the LIFEPAK kits.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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