Talbot County AED Program
"Operation Save Heart"
In 2000 the Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, under the leadership of President William Howard, implemented the first countywide public access AED (automated external defibrillator) program on the Eastern Shore. The Paramedic Foundation was instrumental in previous community service projects including providing Freezer Packs for medical information and smoke detectors to each resident of Talbot County.
All Talbot County offices and schools along with many local government agencies, police cars, golf courses and many other private facilities now have AEDs on site. There are more than 110 AEDs distributed throughout the county at locations as diverse as the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Easton Bank and Trust, Lowe's, Dockside Express, Christ Church, and Talbot Special Riders. Talbot County Emergency Services EMS Division provides training in CPR and use of the AED for all participants.
Operation Save Heart quickly became a model for other AED programs in the nation. The program was so successful it was recognized as the premier Public Access Defibrillator program in the nation by the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2001. The program is also spotlighted on the National Center for Early Defibrillation website.