Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County's Emergency Medical Services and Board of Commissioners kicked off a three-month campaign Monday that's aimed at getting automated external defibrillators in more public buildings.
The goal of the Wake EMS 100 Day Heart Safe Automated External Defibrillators Campaign is to help more people survive cardiac arrest.
"Today’s announcement is a crucial step in improving cardiac arrest survival rates," Wake County Chairman Paul Coble said. "We encourage the business community to take advantage of this life-saving campaign."
The county has partnered with local AED vendors to offer incentives for businesses and groups buying the devices.
Once a device is registered, the information is provided to the Wake County 911 centers so that dispatchers can quickly locate the unit and assist with its use during emergencies.
One of the speakers at Monday's event was Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, who survived a heart attack at her legislative office in Raleigh in April 2009. Another lawmaker, who is also a doctor, used a defibrillator at the building to restart her heart.
According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and strikes more than 350,000 people a year. Automatic defibrillators, along with CPR, provide an immediate and essential link that may be the difference between life and death.