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Efforts By NATCA and PASS To Press FAA To Install Defibrillators in Facilities Finally Pays Off, For the Benefit of 46,000 Employees - (10/15/2008)

CONTACTS:            Doug Church, NATCA National Office, Washington, D.C., 202-220-9802; Kori Blalock-Keller, PASS National Office, Washington, D.C., 202-293-7277     

NEWS ITEM: On Sept. 26, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all agency facilities with 50 or more employees during the next year. The agency says it will then evaluate implementation costs and whether a sufficient number of employees are volunteering to be responders. Pending positive results of the evaluation, the FAA says, it intends to deploy AEDs to the remaining FAA facilities with 10 or more employees during the following two years, which cover 97 percent of agency personnel.   

NATCA/PASS REACTION: NATCA and PASS are very pleased that the FAA has finally decided to act to deploy these life-saving machines in its workplaces. The announcement comes more than four years after NATCA and PASS began aggressively urging the FAA to deploy AEDs, which assist victims of cardiac arrest by restoring a normal heartbeat through the application of a brief electric shock.             

The FAA’s stated original opposition to the deployment of AEDs was money. The agency estimated the cost of an AED program would be over $100 million over 10 years. But NATCA and PASS used its members’ dues money to demonstrate that the FAA could implement an even more responsive strategy to protect employees than the one FAA originally rejected as too costly – for 15 percent of the estimated cost. In fact, NATCA and PASS went the extra mile to try and convince the FAA that there was a better way to go by using its members’ dues money between January 2007 and June 2008 to hire an outside consultant. That’s not counting travel and other costs.               

The current estimated cost of the program, according to FAA: $15 million over 10 years.               

NATCA President Patrick Forrey and PASS President Tom Brantley issued this joint statement:              

 “This is great news for the health and well-being of the members of both NATCA and PASS who spend so much of their time in these high stress, high stakes work environments. We are glad the FAA finally has decided to make this happen and incorporate our ideas on how to make this happen. We are grateful to everyone at NATCA and PASS for working so hard to make this a reality.”      


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