Senator Collins Maine EMS Applaud Donation of 25 Defibtech AEDs for Maine Schools

Senator Collins, Maine EMS Applaud Donation of 25 Defibtech AEDs for Maine Schools

Leading U.S. Senate advocate for AEDs emphasizes their importance to schools, community centers and other public places

Carmel, Maine
February 20, 2008

U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Maine EMS today applauded a donation of 25 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for Maine schools from Defibtech, a company that designs and manufactures the portable, electronic devices that can shock a heart back into normal rhythm and save a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both the state of Maine and the U.S. Cardiac arrest causes the sudden death of more than 250,000 each year," Senator Collins said. "Many of these deaths could be prevented if automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, were more accessible. That is why I coauthored the Rural AED law. I am pleased that this law has made AEDs more accessible to first responders and communities throughout our nation. I commend Defibtech for this generous donation to schools around our state. It truly is a life-saving gift."

Dr. Glenn Laub, Defibtech’s CEO, announced the donation to Senator Collins, Maine Emergency Services (EMS) Director Jay Bradshaw, and other school and EMS officials during an event at Caravel Middle School in Carmel. He commended Senator Collins and Maine EMS for their outstanding advocacy of programs that are making AEDs more commonplace in Maine and across the nation. "As the number of AEDs increases, so do reports of lives saved from sudden cardiac arrest," said Dr. Laub, a practicing cardiac surgeon.

The schools chosen to receive the donations also serve as community centers. Many of them are located far from hospitals or where average EMS response is prolonged due to drive time. Having an AED onsite is important because immediate resuscitation is vital. Studies show that more than 70 percent of victims defibrillated within a minute or two after arrest survive. If defibrillation is delayed for more than 10 minutes, only 5 percent live.

Senator Collins is a leading advocate in the U.S. Senate for increased access to AEDs
The Rural Access to Emergency Devices (Rural AED) Act that Senator Collins co-sponsored with Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) has resulted in AEDs for rural communities across Maine and the nation. Through this program, nearly 600 AEDs have been deployed throughout Maine – to police, fire, and EMS departments; to medical and dental clinics; and to town halls, schools, colleges, parks, libraries, and museums. This program is continuing with $1 million in additional funding signed into law in December 2007.

Senators Collins and Feingold were also the co-sponsors of the Automated Defibrillators in Adam's Memory (ADAM) Act that was signed into law. Named after Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old high school student who collapsed and died while playing in a basketball game, increases CPR and AED training in schools. Senators Collins and Feingold also recently passed a Senate resolution designating the first week of June "National Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week."

Statewide deployments, fast growth and awards demonstrate Defibtech’s leadership in AED industry
Defibtech has deployed AEDs statewide in Maine, as well as in Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New Mexico. Defibtech was recently named the nation’s fastest-growing medical equipment company by Deloitte's prestigious 2007 Technology Fast 500 Program. The Defibtech AED has earned several major awards, including the Best Bang for the Buck Award, from Frost & Sullivan, an AED industry analyst. The AED’s outstanding design was recognized by The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), which selected the Lifeline to be in its "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk" exhibit.

Schools across Maine to receive AEDs
The schools receiving AEDs are Albion Elementary, Sebasticook Valley Middle (Newport), Jefferson Elementary, Maranacook Middle (Readfield), Stratton Elementary, Elm St. (Mechanic Falls), Leavitt High (Turner), Lewiston High, Patrick Theriault (Sinclair), MSAD #33 (St. Agatha), MSDA #29 (Monticello), Dawn F. Barnes (Caswell), Monhegan School, Kermit Nickerson (Swanville), Lincolnville Central, Long Island Learning Center, Bowdoinham Community, Jordan Small (Raymond), Cranberry Island School, Princeton Elementary, Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary, Caravel Middle, Bangor High, and Mt. Merici (Waterville).