Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AEDs and CPR Needed in Every School in Arkansas.

On Tuesday evening, January 19th, 2010, a high school basketball student at Parkview High School, in Little Rock, fell to the floor unconscious. School personnel quickly worked to revive the young man who did not have a pulse. The young man is alive today because of the efforts of bystanders. This happened three years to the month when another student was not so fortunate. The Antony Hobbs, III Act of 2009 was passed because Hobbs suffered sudden cardiac arrest at a Parkview high school basketball game in January of 2007 and died. But because of his death many schools have taken the initiative to place the lifesaving devices in their respective schools. Below is a letter from a school district that is making a difference and making their campus a safe place for students, faculty and visitors.

This letter is in response to a request for all schools across the state to Wear Red on Friday, February 5th in support of the American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day. this years message is to support restoring funding for the AEDs and CPR training for all schools.

During the 2009 Session a law was passed that requires AED placement and CPR training on every public school campus in Arkansas. When the 56 cent tobacco tax was approved a portion of those funds were to be used to fund the placement and training efforts. But due to state budget cuts the funding for the AEDs and CPR was cut.

This years Wear Red events in Arkansas will focus on the issue that every school across the state needs and by law are required to have on campus automated external defibrillator and CPR trained school personnel.

Dear Ms. Kumpe:
I am in receipt of your letter dated January 8 and wanted to let you know that the Siloam
Springs School District has purchased 15 AEDs two years ago and paid for them ourselves out of local money; and we train our coaches, PE teachers, and other staff members in CPR and in use of the AEDs. We also train all of our students in CPR through our tenth grade Health classes so all students taking Health class receive this very valuable training.

We are in full support of your important initiative. My point is we are doing more than requesting funding we believe in a healthy lifestyle and we believe in the value of the AEDs and CPR training. We use emergency responders to help train students. We also have RNs in all of our individual school buildings.

I just wanted you to know that if we don't color or sign petitions it is because we are actively engaged in walking our talk toward a healthy life style.

I thank you for your passion and dedication in promoting elimination of heart disease and stroke. Your efforts are to be admired. Thank you for caring and sharing this initiative with all the schools in Arkansas.

Ken Ramey, Superintendent
Siloam Springs School District

Let's not have another week go by that our children are not protected. Make sure your students and faculty are protected. Contact your state legislator and the Governors office and tell them to find the funds to support AED and CPR for every school in Arkansas. We need to protect our children. Make that call TODAY.

Governors Office - 501-682-2345

House Members - 501-682-7771

Senate Members - 501-682-6107

For additional information contact Barbara Kumpe, Arkansas Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association - or 501-379-1182



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