Consider this –
– There are millions of fire extinguishers deployed in buildings throughout the United States, while Automated External Defibrillators (AED units) offer less than 1% market saturation.
– Structures built from all types of materials are required to have fire extinguishers on site, while few buildings require defibrillators.
– A fire extinguisher might result in limited property damage, but its effect on saving a life is uncertain. Conversely, AED units will prevent death for the majority of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims if applied in a timely manner.
– While fires spread quickly and do risk life, if SCA isn’t treated within 3-5 minutes, the victim’s chances of survival are less than 5%
– Today’s technology gives warning during the early, incipient stages of a fire, while Sudden Cardiac Arrest is instant and by definition shows no signs or symptoms before attacking its victims.
– Fires are a result of three things: oxygen, heat, and fuel. You take out one element and the fire will go out. Sudden Cardiac Arrest can attack any individual no matter their age, ethnicity, or background.
And yet –
According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2007 report, “Fire Loss in the United States During 2007” there were 3,430 civilian and 102 firefighter deaths during the year. By comparison, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) was estimated to take the lives of over 350,000 Americans during the year, far and away the country’s leading killer.
Certainly fires are tragic and all avoidable deaths, from fires or otherwise, have a detrimental impact on communities, families, and involved parties. However with so much attention paid to fires and fire-related deaths and so little to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) deaths, one must wonder about the inadequacies in coverage and attention between the two preventable occurrences.
Access to the life saving equipment to be able to respond to incidents is critically important for any type of emergency!