PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF) announces the gift of an AED device that adds life-saving capability to its high-traffic facility. In addition to its regular after school classes, PRYAF hosts several plays, revues and major fundraisers each year. 

“On a daily basis, we might have 100 students at our facility, along with parents and grandparents who drop off or stay to read in our lobby. During a performance, that number multiplies quickly, and we see 200 people at each show. This gift allows us to be ready in the event of a cardiac arrest. We are just so grateful.” explains Emily Jagger, Director of Development. PRYAF’s 16 teachers and 4 administrative staff are all receiving AED training and will be ready if they are needed. 

This fall, a surprising connection was made between PRYAF and the San Luis Obispo County Garbagemen’s Association (made up of most of the garbage and recycling haulers and facilities within the County). Earlier this year, the SLOCGA had very close call when one of their own went into cardiac arrest at a Cal Poly basketball game. Fortunately, there were medical professionals in attendance as well as an AED available. That AED was quite literally the difference between life and death for Association Secretary, Tom Martin. 

After that close call, the SLOCGA wanted to donate AEDs throughout the County to places which might have an opportunity to save lives if an AED were present. They reached out to Paso Robles Fire Chief Jonathan Stornetta because they felt he could best identify a Paso Robles location that would benefit. The Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation was on the top of that list. 

For several years, PRYAF leadership sought help in securing an AED, contacting hospitals and agencies that supply these types of devices. 

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“I am extremely pleased that Chief Stornetta was able to connect us and that this AED will be going to an organization that is such a perfect fit. I’m pleased that it’s going to an organization that understands the value of AEDs and that it’s going to a location where it will be available to serve so many people in the community.” Said Ian Hoover, General Manager of Paso Robles Waste and Recycle on behalf of the San Luis Obispo Garbagemen’s Association. 

Currently, PRYAF offers 50 classes weekly and fills more than 2300 student seats per year in their after-school program. For information regarding making a donation, volunteering, attending events, fundraisers, or classes, contact PRYAF at 805-238-5825 or visit pryaf.org.