Mayor Bowser launches new AED rebate program with DC Fire and EMS to boost cardiac survival rates

April 12, 2024

Mayor Bowser introduces cash rebate initiative for AEDs

On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, Mayor Muriel Bowser, in partnership with DC Fire and EMS, announced the launch of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) incentive program.

This initiative offers a cash rebate of up to $400 per device to encourage the widespread installation of AEDs across Washington, D.C.

The program is aimed particularly at small businesses, religious venues, residential buildings, and nonprofit organizations.

Closing health disparities with increased AED accessibility

The AED incentive program is designed to enhance cardiac arrest survival rates by making these life-saving devices more accessible, especially in areas of the city with low AED availability.

Mayor Bowser emphasized the importance of community involvement in emergency medical responses: “We know that bystander intervention can save lives; we’re proud of the thousands of people who have learned hands-only CPR; and now, through this AED rebate program, we can save more lives,” she stated.

“I’m grateful that our Fire and EMS team is thinking strategically and creatively about how to address disparities in health outcomes, and I encourage organizations to participate in the AED incentive program.”

A focus on racial disparities in cardiac survival rates

The initiative also addresses the racial disparities in survival outcomes, a critical issue highlighted by current health data.

Fire and EMS Chief John A. Donnelly Sr. expressed his gratitude for the support: “We are thankful to Mayor Bowser and the Council for providing us with the funding needed to implement this life-saving incentive,” he said.

“I’m proud of the efforts our providers have made to improve cardiac survival rates in the District of Columbia, and we’re pleased to see how impressive the District’s results are.

“I am confident that through our Hands on Heart CPR training and this AED incentive program, we will continue to save lives and close the gap in the racial disparity of cardiac survival rates, making our saves more equitable.”

High survival rates and educational efforts by DC Fire and EMS

The launch of this program coincides with an announcement by DC Fire and EMS that they have successfully trained over 103,261 individuals in hands-only CPR through their Hands on Heart program.

This education effort, combined with immediate CPR and AED intervention, has been shown to significantly improve the chances of survival during cardiac emergencies.

FSJA Comment

The introduction of the AED rebate program by Mayor Bowser and DC Fire and EMS represents a proactive step towards enhancing public health safety in Washington, D.C.

By addressing both the availability of crucial medical equipment and the disparities in health outcomes, the initiative sets a precedent for similar programs nationwide.

As the community learns to respond more effectively to cardiac emergencies, the overall resilience and readiness of the city’s emergency medical services improve.

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