Benton County Parks and the Richland Fire Department are partnering on a program to install automated external defibrillators (AED) on Badger Mountain.

The use of an AED on the chest of an individual suffering from cardiac arrest offers the best chance for survival if used within four minutes.

"If that patient is unresponsive and not breathing normally, start CPR, grab an AED, apply it and if they need shock, that AED is going to shock them." Richland Fire Captain Josh Smith said.

Badger Mountain draws about 200,000 visits a year. It's one of the most used parks in the Mid-Columbia. First responders have been called to the area several times for reports of cardiac arrest over the last 18 years.

"There has been some loss of life up there. It's a difficult place to place this sort of device. You can't cover the whole mountain. But what we're focusing on with this project is the Canyon Trail corridor where 75% of the traffic. Richland is installing an AED at the base of the mountain in Trailhead Park, which is where the main trail begins. Benton County is placing one at the summit." said Sustainable Development Manager Adam Fyall.

The AED devices will be located in cabinets that light up but will blend in nicely with the climate of the trail system. When used, first responders will receive an alert and location thanks to global positioning system (GPS) monitors.

"We will be notified that the cabinet has been opened. They still need to call 911. So, yell at somebody, call 911, push hard, push fast, get that AED and shock them." Smith added.

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