Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
CPR Survivors Event
June 1, 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, it is great to be here with all of you this afternoon. Before I go any further I want to thank Chief Hohman, Captain Sheldon Parker and everyone here at the Parkville Fire Station for having us as their guests today.
Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States. Think about that. If I’d ask you to name the leading cause of death in this country, I’ll bet you’d have guessed an infectious disease, cancer, or car crashes.
However, every year, more than 350,000 Americans die from heart attacks. And the most frightening thing is that it can happen to anyone. It can happen to someone leaving the gym. It can happen to someone working at an animal shelter. It can happen to a Police Officer and Volunteer firefighter while they’re out for a jog. It can happen to someone with no history of heart problems. It can even happen to a 14 year old high school student during the middle of a field hockey game.
No matter how unlikely it seems, this could strike any of us at any time. Fortunately, in most cases, if someone experiencing a heart attack receives medical treatment soon enough, they can survive, just as these five men and women did.
Today, technology has advanced far enough that treatment for a heart attack can be administered by any of us. Automated External Defibrillators or “AEDs” are safe, effective and an easy to use method of restoring the heart to a normal rhythm and they are designed to be used by non-medical personnel. The new generation of AEDs analyzes a victim’s condition and if necessary, delivers an electrical shock to the heart to reverse sudden cardiac arrest.
Baltimore County is committed to giving our residents the best chance of survival from a heart attack as possible. This means using the chain of survival. The chain begins with early recognition and calling 911. It continues with CPR, using an AED, treatment from trained EMS technicians, and finally ends with intervention at the hospital.
Our Project Heartbeat program has placed AEDs in public places, such as public schools and county office space, and trained businesses, schools, and other organizations in how to use them. This has increased the chances of survival for people throughout our communities.
Thanks to Our Heroes
I am incredibly proud of everyone who has taken part in this program. From those who have received training to our experienced EMTs and paramedics. Many of you have saved lives and all of you have helped make this County a safer place. The men and women who saved those survivors that are with us today woke up as ordinary citizens, but thanks to their commitment, they went to bed those nights as heroes.
Thanks to all of your hard work, our County is a safer, better place.