FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION INCREASING ACCESS TO DEFIBRILLATORS IN PUBLIC PLACES
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The next bill before me is Introductory Number 211-A, sponsored Council Members Oddo, Lopez, Reed, Lanza, Gallagher, Baez, Barron, Comrie, DeBlasio, Gioia, Koppell, McMahon, Martinez, Moskowitz, Nelson, Quinn, Reyna, Rivera, Sanders, Vallone, Gerson, Brewer, Provenzano, Clarke, Dilan, Fidler, Gentile, Jennings, Stewart, Weprin, Palma, Gennaro, Sears, Avella, Perkins, Speaker Miller, and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. This bill requires the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in certain public places throughout New York City.
"The American Heart Association estimates that nearly 250,000 people nationwide die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. When the cause of the arrest is an abnormal rhythm, the only treatment is the delivery of an electrical shock to the heart, known as defibrillation. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity for treating a person in sudden cardiac arrest is very limited, and the sooner that cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation are administered, the higher the chance for survival.
"Historically, only trained emergency medical personnel were equipped to provide defibrillation. However technological advances have resulted in a new generation of defibrillators capable of being used by trained lay rescuers. These new automated external defibrillators - known as AEDs - are safe, effective, user-friendly and inexpensive. More importantly, AEDs save lives.
"Introductory Number 211-A requires the placement of AEDs in the publicly accessible areas of certain City buildings, ferry terminals, nursing homes, senior centers, health clubs, golf courses, stadiums, arenas and selected New York City parks. Training, maintenance and oversight at each AED site will be done in accordance with the State Public Health Law. I would like to point out that many of these facilities, as well as the school system, already have working AED programs in place. The legislation before me today will further expand the availability of these life-saving devices.
"When fully implemented, Introductory Number 211-A will save lives. AEDs, however, are not a substitute for a sensible program of prevention. All New Yorkers can best reduce their risk of heart disease, the condition underlying most cardiac arrests, by maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and seeing their doctor to diagnose and manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
"I would like to thank the City Council, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Tom Frieden and all the agency staff who worked on this bill for their leadership and commitment to this issue."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
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