This is a critical time in Congress, as lawmakers work to allocate Federal dollars for the coming fiscal year. Even in this difficult economy, there are several federally-funded programs that are vital to the heart and stroke community, and we need to let lawmakers know they must be made a priority.
One such program helps buy and place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in rural communities and trains first responders and lay rescuers in their use. The Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program ensures those who live in rural areas or small towns have access to the tools that give them the best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest, but the program currently only has the resources to operate in 7 states and 1 U.S. territory.
Shouldn’t people in every state be given the best shot at surviving a cardiac arrest? Communities with aggressive AED placements have increased survival rates from 10% to nearly 40%- an incredible improvement! But first responders, churches, recreation facilities and others in 43 states are still waiting for funds for this life-saving program.
As Members of Congress allocate funding, please contact your elected officials about the importance of this life-saving program TODAY!