Florida Construction Firm Makes AEDs Standard Equipment at Jobsites

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based construction firm Moss & Associates yesterday announced a new program to deploy automated external defibrillators on each of its more than 30 jobsites in the interest of accelerating a life-saving response in the event of a cardiac arrest. While AEDs are increasingly being installed in public gathering places such as stadiums, shopping malls, hotels, airports, and bus terminals, their use in the workplace is just beginning to gain momentum, said Brian Trusky, Moss vice president-loss prevention. The company has teamed with Philips Healthcare's Cardiac Resuscitation Systems for the initiative, integrating Philips AEDs into the standard safety equipment at all Moss jobsites throughout Florida and the Caribbean.

If an individual suffers cardiac arrest (heart attack), AEDs help restore normal heart rhythm. When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent for each minute that passes without defibrillation, according to the American Heart Association. Trusky said Moss is following AHA guidelines by training job site supervisors and other personnel in the use of AEDs as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. "We believe this investment in AED training and equipment adds a new dimension to our workplace safety program," he said.

Early CPR is an integral part of providing life-saving aid to people suffering sudden cardiac arrest by helping to circulate oxygen-rich blood to the brain. After the AED is attached and delivers a shock, the typical AED will prompt the operator to continue CPR while the device continues to analyze the victim.

"Moss is being proactive and extremely forward-thinking in training employees and having AEDs available at its worksites," said Barbara Caracci, National Safety Council director of emergency care program development and training, an organization that provides First Aid, CPR, and AED courses and materials. "It's critical to have defibrillators in workplace environments because they give people a better chance of surviving a cardiac arrest," she added.

The privately held Moss (www.mosscm.com) says it is the fourth largest building contractor in Florida, with annual revenues exceeding $649 million in fiscal year 2007.

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