WASHINGTON, D.C. — In January, people across the nation were unified in hoping Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin recovered after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game. Hamlin said a quick response saved his life. Now he’s taking this opportunity to advocate for more CPR training and access to AEDs.
“Today I feel so inspired that god has given me an opportunity to help and protect young people based on what I experienced,” said Hamlin.
Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest during a Bills game in early January, recently visited the U.S. Capitol. He’s advocating for ”The Access to AED’s Act”. It’s a grant program to support CPR and AED training in k-12 schools, buy AEDs for schools, establish cardiac emergency response plans and promote the importance of defibrillation in schools.
“This legislation is an important tool to create a nation of life savers,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.
Brown said 350-thousand people in the U.S. experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital each year, and one in 300 kids have an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk. She said student athletes are more likely to experience cardiac arrest.
“Access to CPR and AEDs is the difference between life and death,” said Brown.
Sporting a signed Hamlin jersey, New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D- NY) praised Hamlin and others for advocating for this legislation.
“They’ve dedicated themselves to making sure no child, no family, no community has to go through what they went through,” said Schumer.
Hamlin said when he played football as a kid, he never thought about CPR or where an AED was at his school. He hopes this legislation changes that for others.
“The Access to AEDs Act will ensure schools are just as prepared to respond in a time of crisis as those on the sidelines of an NFL game,” said Hamlin.