Hooves-Ray for COWmunity Code Blue Tower

November 2, 2012

As we reported a few years ago, a remarkable partnership between Woodside Citizens, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and a local foundation created by a Woodside firefighter has come together to save lives. The partnership recently installed a “Code Blue” 24/7 emergency response tower along Woodside Road in front of the Woodside fire station with the purpose to save lives in our COWmunity. The tower is located on Woodside Road a few hundred yards from its intersection with Cañada Road and Mountain Home Road.

As the SHD explained in a press release, the issue is that often COWs and visitors in the area of the fire station will come to the door in case of a medical emergency. While that’s a great idea if the firefighters are at the station, often times all of the personnel are out on a call and unable to help.
The tower is connected at all times to San Mateo County’s emergency system. Two-way communication between the tower and a dispatcher lets the dispatcher determine if a medical emergency is in progress, talk to the person in distress or a Good Samaritan. The communication also allows the dispatcher to send emergency crews to the spot to help with the emergency.

The dispatcher can even push a button to release an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) from a compartment to be used to attempt to restart a heart. AEDs are easy-to-use devices that assess whether someone’s heart is in defibrillation and in danger of stopping, and can apply shocks to try to save the person. They don’t require any training and have saved many lives. The devices are expensive and not as widely distributed as they should be, but are generally carried on fire engines.

A sad incident five years ago involving Woodside firefighter, Troy Brush, led him to begin the project to create the lifesaving tower. A man named James Christie Olsson had a heart attack and crashed, and was treated with an AED by Brush’s crew. He was revived but sadly passed 11 days later in the hospital. The incident spurred Mr. Brush’s desire to expand access to the life-saving devices.

The Olsson family as well wanted to honor the memory of their loved one and help provide access to lifesaving treatments in the community, and so supported the creation of the Woodside AED Foundation to create the tower and help create a “heartsafe community.” Mr. Brush, the firefighter, is now the president of the Foundation. With the financial help of the Sequoia Healthcare District and through generous members of the COWmunity, more than $20,000 was raised to create the tower. The tower was recently dedicated by members of the Woodside AED Foundation, the SHD, and the Woodside Fire Protection District, as well as Mayor Tanner and Supervisor Don Horsley.

We certainly hope none of our readers ever needs to use the tower, but we’re sure that just like us, the peace of mind of knowing this lifesaving monument is present in our Town is heartfelt!

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