Surrounded by two dozen firetrucks, ambulances, and rescue vehicles, North Texas first responders and cardiac arrest survivors helped spread the word this week about Senate Bill 199. The new state law, which takes effect Sept. 1, will increase the availability of AEDs at businesses and in other public places.
AED123 Founder and CEO Bobby Wehmeyer hosted a news conference along with the City of Carrollton to raise awareness about the law. North Texas fire, rescue and police departments, together with EMS companies, came out in full force to show their support and tell their stories about how AEDs save lives.
Daniel Daly, a firefighter from the City of Plano, said, “Plano Fire and Rescue has data supporting some of the fastest response times in the nation, but we cannot beat the response time of an AED that’s already on scene.”
“A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anytime,” JV Lattimore, who was saved by an AED four years ago when he was just 43 years old, told the dozens of attendees. “It can happen anywhere and if you’re prepared with and AED, you can save a life.”
The new law eliminates liability for businesses and organizations if someone goes into cardiac arrest and an AED was not used or not used properly. It also eliminates unrealistic requirements for employee training to better align with modern AED technology. To ensure AEDs are continually ready for immediate and effective use, the new law requires monthly inspections.
Douglas Dunsavage of the American Heart Association also spoke about SB 199, as well as House Bill 786, which requires emergency dispatchers to be trained in CPR and the use of CPR and AEDs.