Basin Recreation District installs life-saving devices at parks and trailheads |

Basin Recreation District installs life-saving devices at parks and trailheads

Defibrillators are easily accessible by the public

Eric Hales, left, who is battalion chief and emergency medical services director for the Park City Fire District, holds one of the newly installed defibrillators with District Executive Director Brian Hanton.
(Courtesy of Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District)

As the Snyderville Basin Recreation District continues to encourage the entire community to become involved in its programs, Director Brian Hanton says the district also wants to ensure life-saving devices are within reach for those who may need them.

“We want to make sure that we are taking as many safety measures as possible,” Hanton said. “We don’t want to have any situations happen, but we know that they potentially could. We know that, in reality, more than likely, it could be an imminent need.”

The recreation district and the Park City Fire District recently partnered to install automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, at parks and trailheads throughout the Basin. They were installed near the restrooms of the following locations: Trailside and Willow Creek parks each have two, Matt Knoop Memorial Park, Spring Creek trailhead, The Wood’s trailhead and eventually at the East Canyon Creek trailhead, which is currently under construction.

Eric Hales, battalion chief and emergency medical services director for the Park City Fire District, said installation of the life-saving devices is part of a larger program that started providing AEDs in Park City in 2015. They are located at Miners Park on Main Street, along the Poison Creek trail close to the basketball court at City Park, on the restroom building at the Quinn’s Junction recreation complex and on the west side of the shed at the McPolin Farm.

“Each year, about 350,000 suffer a sudden cardiac arrest event. Less than 10 percent of those survive because they don’t have quick access to these types of machines,” Hales said. “You are seeing them more and they are becoming more prevalent in shopping malls and parks, and more populated areas. Safety is increasing in these areas because of the access to these things.”

AED devices operate by detecting an ineffective heart rhythm leading to sudden cardiac arrest, Hales said, which is different than suffering from a heart attack. He said sudden cardiac arrest causes the heart to go into an abnormal electrical rhythm leading to collapse.

The AED detects those rhythms and if it is recommended, a shock is delivered. He added, “That’s what saves their life.”

Hales said within six months of installing AEDs throughout Park City, a Sundance Film Festival vendor collapsed on Main Street and was revived by a passerby who knew about the defibrillators.

“There are many times over the last 20 years that I can think of where a device like this would have made a big impact for someone suffering cardiac arrest,” Hales said. “Chance of survival really decreases if AEDs aren’t there or if people aren’t willing to use them.”

The recreation district was awarded $12,000 through Summit County’s Recreation, Arts and Park’s grant program. The grant paid for seven of the eight AEDs. The fire district donated the eighth defibrillator.

“Our hope is that people never have to use them. But, the fact that we have them makes people happy and they are happy to see them there, especially when we have events in our parks and at our trails,” said Ben Liegert, parks manager. “The high traffic that we have at our trials and parks helps us feel more comfortable in providing something like that for the community.”