Submitted by SCAFoundation on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 3:02pm

June 10, 2008–WASHINGTON–The Josh Miller HEARTS Act, H.R. 4926, passed by the House today, will establish a grant program through the U.S. Department of Education to provide schools with funds for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and AED/CPR training.

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) earlier this year, and had gained the support of nearly 100 House cosponsors. There is currently no companion bill in the Senate. The SCA Foundation, along with other members of the SCA Coalition, actively supported this legislation.

“Passage of H.R. 4926 is an important first step,” said Karen and John Acompora, whose son Louis died from SCA at a school that did not have AEDs on site. “However the federal government lags behind states like New York, Ohio and Texas that already require defibrillators and CPR training in their schools. As the leading cause of death in the U.S., sudden cardiac arrest prevention and awareness is woefully under funded by government and receives inadequate attention by lawmakers. We hope this is the start of more resources at the federal level and we thank Rep. Sutton and her colleagues for taking this important initiative.”

H.R. 4926 authorizes appropriations and has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Details of the Act

The Josh Miller Helping Everyone Access Responsive Treatment in Schools Act of 2008, or the Josh Miller HEARTS Act:

  • Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to award matching grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to: (1) purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use in their schools; and/or (2) provide training to meet the grant requirement that at least five adult employees or volunteers at each school where an AED is to be used successfully complete training in its use and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

  • Requires LEA grant applicants also to demonstrate that: (1) the AEDs are integrated into the schools' emergency response procedures; and (2) emergency services personnel are notified of their locations.

  • Requires LEA grantees to provide nonfederal matching funds equal to at least 25% of their grant, unless 20% or more of the children they serve come from impoverished families.

  • Gives grant priority to schools that: (1) lack an AED; (2) typically have a significant number of students, staff, and visitors present during the day; (3) generally have a longer wait for emergency medical services than other public facilities in the community; and (4) have not received funds under the Rural Access to Emergency Devices Act.

  • Authorizes appropriations for the grant program for FY2008-FY2013.