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DU to install 80 lifesaving AED devices on campus

DU's John Bujaci installs am automated external defibrillator (AED) at the Ritchie Center. It is one of 80 units that will be installed around the campus as part of the Red Cross’ Save a Life Denver program. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 300,000 lives each year. The Mile High chapter of the American Red Cross aims to reduce this number by making automated external defibrillators (AEDs) widely available to the public through its “Save A Life Denver” program.

DU will distribute 80 AEDs throughout campus, and more than 500 University personnel will receive first aid, CPR and AED training as part of the University’s participation in the program.

DU Campus Safety will have mobile AEDs in its patrol cars, and the University will install the rest of the devices in high-use locations, starting with the Ritchie Center.

“The University of Denver is committed to the public good and providing a safe, secure environment conducive to learning, living and working,” says Don Enloe, DU’s director of campus safety. “The installation of the AEDs enhances this effort.”

Enloe says the Red Cross already has trained about 200 people on campus.

Save A Life Denver is a cooperative effort between the Red Cross’ Mile High chapter, Denver Health and Philips Healthcare. The program aims to place at least 1,000 AEDs throughout Denver and to train 10,000 individuals in CPR/AED skills each year.

Gino Greco, a regional CEO at the Red Cross, says defibrillation combined with CPR is the only definitive treatment for sudden cardiac arrest.

The AEDs are equipped with clear voice commands that guide the responder through the necessary steps to administer a potentially life-saving shock. The device analyzes the heart rhythm of a victim and detects whether a shock — or defibrillation — is needed. If a shock is advised, the AED will stun the heart momentarily and allow it to re-establish an effective rhythm.

DU will purchase half of the AEDs on campus while Save A Life Denver will pay for the rest. For more information, visit

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