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  • ACOEM Supports HRSA's Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program

    March 6, 2012 

    The Honorable Tom Harkin
    Chairman, Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee
    Washington, DC  20510 

    Dear Mr. Chairman:
     
    The 34 undersigned member organizations of the Ad Hoc Coalition To Save Lives Through Public Access to Defibrillation commend you for your leadership and commitment to HRSA’s Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. Thank you for restoring this life-saving initiative to its FY 2010 level in the FY 2012 congressional appropriations process. During the FY 2013 appropriations process, we urge you to continue to champion this Program by restoring it to the FY 2005 level of $8.927 million when 47 states received funding under the rural component.

    Requests for these competitive grants continue to exceed available limited funds. For example, in FY 2011, HRSA approved 70 applications for the rural component of this Program, but could not fund even one of them due to lack of resources. Moreover, in FY 2009, less than 8% of the applicants were funded. In FY 2010, only 21states received funding for this Program—unfortunately Iowa was not one of them. 

    HRSA’s Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program is designed to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest—a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Funding for this initiative is used to purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs), train lay rescuers and first responders in their use, and place AEDs in public areas where sudden cardiac arrests are likely to occur. 

    This federal Program produces results. Between August 1, 2008 and July 31, 2010, 795 sudden cardiac arrest victims were reported saved, despite insufficient resources. Survival rates for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims have increased recently from 8% to 11%. Immediate CPR and early defibrillation, using an AED, can more than double a patient’s chance of survival. Communities with aggressive AED programs have achieved survival rates of nearly 40%.       
     
    Please continue to help save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by doing everything in your power to restore HRSA’s Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program to its FY 2005 level of $8.927 million in the FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriation bill. If you have questions, please contact Claudia Louis at the American Heart Association at 202-785-7906 or Claudia.louis@heart.org. We appreciate your outstanding support of HRSA’s Rural and  Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. Thank you.

    Sincerely, 

    24-7 EMS
    24-7 Fire
    Advocates for EMS
    American Ambulance Association
    American College of Cardiology
    American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
    American Heart Association
    American Red Cross 
    American Safety & Health Institute 
    Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.
    Association of Critical Care Transport
    Cardiac Science Corporation
    Congressional Fire Services Institute
    Emergency Nurses Association
    First Safety Institute
    GotoAID
    Heart Rhythm Society
    HealthSafe Solutions, Inc.
    Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association
    Lifework, Inc.
    MEDIC First Aid
    Medtronic, Inc.
    National Association of EMS Physicians
    National Association of State EMS Officials
    National Rural Health Association
    National Safety Council
    National Volunteer Fire Council
    Philips Healthcare
    Project ADAM
    Project S.A.V.E., Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation
    Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
    Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation
    WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease