Rural Communities Offered Defibrillators and Training to Help Save Lives

06/11/02    Portland, Ore.

The Oregon Office of Rural Health at Oregon Health & Science University announces implementation of the "Rural Access to Emergency Devices Act."

The federal Office of Rural Health Policy is giving money to all 50 states to place automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in those rural areas that lack emergency medical services, or are located too far away to be of practical benefit to a community. The goal of the program is to make AEDs available to those who need them when seconds count and to provide training on how to use them. Priority will be given to placement with first-responder agencies such as EMS, law enforcement and fire departments, so that the person who first arrives to the scene can defibrillate the patient until a transfer to a higher alevel of care is available.

Organizations in your community may be eligible for one of these AED units. Contact Scott Ekblad in the Oregon Office of Rural Health, 503 494-4450, for more information, or go to the Oregon Office of Rural Health Web site, for an application. Applications from rural Oregon communities must be received in the Office of Rural Health by June 21, 2002.