February is American Heart Month and Bianchini’s Market in San Carlos & Portola Valley has taken steps to ensure the safety of its customers and the community by installing automated external defibrillators (AED’s) in their stores. Through a partnership with the Sequoia Healthcare District’s HeartSafe Program and the Via Foundation, Bianchini’s Market will be among the first private businesses in San Mateo County to provide this life-saving service.
The HeartSafe program has placed over 325 defibrillators throughout southern San Mateo County in such locations as police and sheriff vehicles, parks, schools, community centers and public buildings. To date, four community members’ lives have been saved through the placement of these defibrillators.
Joe Kinson of the Via Foundation who installs and ensures compliance of the AED equipment is a former Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department Captain and knows all too well how not having ready access to defibrillation can reduce a person’s chances of surviving a heart attack, including among children. “Cardiac arrest is usually reversible within the first few minutes”, says Kinson, who cites that every minute without defibrillation cuts a victim’s chance of survival by 10%. “In a perfect world, we would have AED’s in every business and every public place, just like fire extinguishers. But we’re not there yet.”
Chris and Kevin Bianchini, brothers and owners of Bianchini’s Market also know the importance of saving lives. As firefighters themselves, this was a no-brainer. But on a more personal note, their father, the late Albert Bianchini from whom they took over the family business, died of cardiac arrest while at work 2004. “If an AED machine had been available to my father that day, he would have had a much better chance, which is why I decided to install them in our stores, says Chris Bianchini. "It’s good for the safety of everyone. It just makes sense."