Local teen earns Girl Scouts' Gold Award for life-saving efforts

Jenna Rasmussen talks about the automated external defibrillator project that’s earned her a high honor in the Girl Scouts, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The Girl Scouts honor the accomplishments of young girls through the Gold Award.

Jenna Rasmussen recently won it, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn.

Rasmussen is one of 13 girls to receive the award, after finishing service projects in the community.

Her project is called Operation A.E.D. The project's purpose was to install automated external defibrillators in public facilities to reduce the number of deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest.

"I was inspired by the death of a former classmate," said Rasmussen, noting her classmate died of sudden cardiac arrest.

"But what made this so relevant and so important to me is when she died, there was no equipment, there was no knowledge, there was no resource as to how they should be helping her," Rasmussen continued.

According to research, when a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their survival rate decreases by 10 percent each minute without the use of an A.E.D.

Originally, Rasmussen was denied from three facilities, but she never lost hope. Christ the King Church eventually got on board and installed the special equipment.

Rasmussen said she hopes more businesses will get the equipment to help save lives.

Rasmussen will graduate from Centennial High School this year.

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