SoCal tragedy spurs quick action in Hayward
City, School District team up to place defibrillators in Hayward schools
(HAYWARD, CA) – When Jose Manuel Beltran, a bright, energetic Delano, CA eighth grader, collapsed in gym class on January 26 from apparent sudden cardiac arrest, his loss was felt throughout the greater Bakersfield area and by everyone touched by the tragic story.
Among those moved by the incident were members of the Hayward Fire Department. Just weeks later, the City of Hayward is now joining with the Hayward Unified School District on an initiative that could prevent a similar tragedy in the Heart of the Bay.
Tomorrow, at a free-to-the-public CPR training event to be held at Hayward’s Southland Mall, the Hayward Fire Department and HUSD will announce a joint venture to purchase 10 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed in Hayward schools.
“No parent should have to endure what the Beltran family is going through right now,” said Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras. “Especially if there’s a device that could have potentially saved this young boy’s life.” Although CPR was administered by staff, the school did not have a defibrillator on campus.
After receiving a $5,000 grant from AAA Insurance, Contreras and his staff began looking for strategic locations to deploy AED units throughout the city. Prompted by the tragedy in Delano, Contreras reached out to the Hayward Unified School District to determine the availability of AEDs at the schools.
HUSD agreed to match the City’s purchase of five AEDs, bringing a total of 10 units to Hayward schools that previously did not have them. Upon their installation, the Hayward Fire Department will train HUSD staff in their appropriate and effective use.
“This is another example of the growing strength of our partnership with HUSD,” said Contreras. “This is an important, potentially life-saving initiative and I’m glad we were able to join together so quickly to make it a reality.”
EVENT DETAILS: Southland Mall (near Macy’s), Saturday, February 14, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.