The Starting Hearts Story

Starting Hearts is a nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims through free CPR and AED training and access programs.

Mission Statement

To provide a platform for citizens, supporters, and community stakeholders to improve outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest victims through empowering education, widespread distribution of defibrillators in public locations, and activation of citizen first responders to confidently and capably provide early care when needed.

Founder, Lynn Blake is a SCA survivor and resident of Colorado’s Vail Valley, who attributes her saved life to CPR and early defibrillation. She now travels around in “The Heart Rod,” a decommissioned transit bus converted CPR/DEFIB classroom on wheels, teaching people how to save lives. Starting Hearts’ programs encourage participants to immediately recognize SCA and to CALL. PUSH. SHOCK.™


Aja Vogelman Endorsement

I attended the combined First Aid/CPR/AED certification class with my coworkers from the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado as part of overall building security and emergency readiness efforts. We are a high elevation facility, and have all manners of patrons and artists pass through our doors every day. Their safety is our priority. Having been in the military and worked a number of jobs requiring this certification, I am well versed in the diversity and comprehensiveness of training offered in such programs. Let me just say, this was by far the best, most practical and knowledge-laden version of training I had ever received. The real-world expertise of the trainers, Mare and Bob, led to a vibrant and productive discussion. Every one of us left feeling more comfortable about making the call to 911, but also handling a variety of situations until expert help arrives. Rather than being inundated with video or slide shows, we were led through a demonstrative and lively back-and-forth. Me and my coworkers will discuss the things we learned there for years to come and will continue to recommend it as an amazing resource. Thank you Starting Hearts for all you do to equip our valley through equipment, knowledge, and awareness.

Lynn Blake

Lynn Blake - Founder of Starting Hearts

On Valentine’s Day 2007 at the age of 27, Lynn Blake was reporting to work for the second day of a new job when she experienced sudden cardiac arrest. But fortunately, someone yelled for help so 9-1-1 was called, a nearby woman quickly started CPR and within minutes the Vail, Colorado Fire Fighters used an DEFIB to deliver three shocks to her chest. Lynn realized how blessed she was to have been given another chance at life and was compelled to save others by establishing Starting Hearts.  Read Lynn’s story.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, better known as CPR or PUSH, is a technique performed to help save the life of someone whose heart has stopped. Responders should PUSH hard (at least 2 inches) and fast (minimum 100bpm) in the center of the chest to maintain blood flow until EMS or an AED arrive.

Philips Onsite Defibrillator

Philips Onsite Defibrillator

When seconds count, being able to locate and access the nearest DEFIB is just as critical as knowing how to use one properly. Knowing the location of your nearest DEFIB at all times can make the difference between life and death.

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