I recently came across this article on the Cardiac Science website that gave some background on the success St. Louis has had in developing a strong PAD (public access defibrillation) program. While the article is a number of years old at this point, I took a number of interesting nuggets from it.
While the cities fire department is credited with driving a lot of the success, the article also pointed out that much of the extra funding needed to achieve what's been accomplished has come from a public+private partnership. The livesavingfoundation.org has been a long-time partner of the cities and brought in over $2 million in funds to help with public safety efforts--including getting AEDs in the right places. My guess is this is a common occurrence in areas that are seeing success in this facet of public safety. I'm afraid that too often the private sector doesn't understand the crucial role they play in making their communities great, with their role in public safety being part of that.
It's great to see a couple of businesses leaders taking it upon themselves to participate in their community in an area they care about. A quick study of the livesavingfoundaiton.org website did expose why they probably started the foundation (one is an EMT and another an SCA survivor), but the fact still remains they let their life experiences impact and change them. This doesn't always happen and I thought it was worth highlighting an important part of what's helping St Louis succeed.