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Letter to Representative Sutton Supporting the Josh Miller HEARTS Act, to put Defibrillators in Schools

March 17, 2009

Dear Representative Sutton:

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we would like to express our support for the Josh Miller HEARTS (Helping Everyone Access Responsive Treatment in Schools) Act. 

We understand that the bill is named in memory of Josh Miller, a 15-year old student who had a sudden cardiac arrest during a high school football game.  Although he had never previously demonstrated any symptoms of heart problems, he collapsed shortly after he left the football field.  By the time the paramedics arrived at the scene, it was too late to save Josh.

Your bill would help prevent such tragedies by establishing a grant program to help every elementary and secondary school in the country obtain an AED.  AEDs are portable, easy-to-use medical devices that have been deployed in many public areas.  Schools are central gathering places in a community.  Therefore, making AEDs available in schools would save not only students, but also staff, parents, and the many other visitors who come through our schools every day.

We thank you for your leadership on this important issue. 

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Goverment Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy