You Have a Fire Extinguisher. Why Not an AED?

Setting a standard for access to AEDs

In past years, fire safety was considered important enough that a major sea change occurred and set an expected and universal standard that fire extinguishers were required in public work places, schools, etc. 

Schools and businesses have a fire safety plan in place and drills are regularly scheduled to ensure that in the event of a fire, everyone knows the plan.  This has benefited everyone and has been a change for the good.

The truth is that death from a workplace fire is extremely rare.  Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills 365,000 people every year in the United States alone.  OSHA’s statistics report that 13% of all work place deaths are due to sudden cardiac arrest.   When someone collapses with SCA, there are two scenarios that will play out.   The first is that there will be an AED on the premises, it can be accessed within 2 minutes of a victim collapsing, and will discharge the life saving shock within the 5 minute window that the American Heart Association says must be met to provide the care that will enable a victim to survive this event.  The second scenario is that there is no AED on the premises, and the only hope for the victim is that once 9-1-1 is called, that local EMS arrive at the location and are at the side of the victim within 5 minutes of the call.  AND, that they have an AED.  The scenario does not have to unfold this way.  Many organizations are learning the value of having an AED on the premises, and are in many cases voluntarily providing it because the fact is AEDs Save Lives, but only if they are at the victim’s side within 5 minutes of collapse.

This sea change is unfolding daily and the sooner it becomes the standard the better.  There is no shortage of stories in the media about how having an AED saved a precious life, or worse, how not having resulted in death.

Insurance companies have been involved in protecting business’ liability with fire safety and fire extinguishers.  Some insurance companies are now offering grants to companies that want to purchase an AED, as well as insurance discounts to those that have them.  The change is happening.