In an effort to encourage a safer office environment for agents and clients, RE/MAX International is recommending that all RE/MAX offices install AED (automated external defibrillator) devices. Several sources of training for employees and agents on the devices are also part of the new initiative.

“A recent nationwide study showed that placing AED units in public areas doubles a person’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX president and chief operating officer as she announced the program during the 2004 RE/MAX International Convention in San Diego. “With only minimal training, almost anyone can operate these new AEDs, and that is critical because a person suffering a cardiac arrest has only about five minutes to be defibrillated. Often, that’s not enough time for an ambulance with emergency technicians to arrive.”

RE/MAX International headquarters has already installed AEDs on all floors of all its facilities and more than 100 personnel have been trained. Ongoing training is offered to new employees or those who want refresher instructions. In addition, all regional offices and brokerage offices owned by any subsidiary of RE/MAX International have installed AED devices.

“We know that the most important assets in our organization are our brokers, sales associates and employees. In addition, there a number of daily clients and guests visiting RE/MAX facilities,” Kelly said. “Last year, more than 250,000 people in the United States alone died of sudden cardiac arrest. That’s one death every two minutes, and in most cases, no one expected it to happen. Up to 50,000 of those deaths might have been prevented if someone had initiated the ‘cardiac chain of survival,’ and an AED had been available for immediate use.”

As part of the new program, OSHA Compliance Training Inc. has been named a RE/MAX approved supplier of AED units from three manufacturers: Access Cardio Systems, Cardiac Science and Zoll Medical. Informational packets, including a video tape produced by RE/MAX Satellite Network, contact details for AED units, training and other facts is being distributed to all RE/MAX offices.

“Operating any of these AED units is not rocket science,” Kelly added. “They all use voice prompts that instruct the rescuer(s) in every detail throughout the procedure. Even CPR instructions are prompted when necessary. We believe it is more than merely desirable to have the AED in the work place. It is a life saving tool, and after all, people are our most valuable assets in business and in our personal lives.”

The cost of an AED varies by manufacturer and model. Current prices for a single unit range from $1,500 to $3,000. This new initiative allows RE/MAX offices to acquire the units at greatly reduced prices.

The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system operating in 47 countries.

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