Boschert To Offer Bill To Require Cpr Masks

Public Facilities Would Display Pocket Device

March 02, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff writer

County Council Chairman David Boschert said he will introduce legislation tonight that would require every restaurant, tavern, theater, county office or other public gathering place to display a pocket resuscitation mask to encourage people to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation in an emergency.

Boschert said the masks would let people administer CPR without direct physical contact, so they would not have to fear contracting a virus or infection, such as AIDS or hepatitis.

"Our society, with all the diseases that have people so concerned, includes some people who might be reluctant to administer CPR to a stranger," Boschert said.

The bill, which will be introduced at the council's 7:30 p.m. meeting at the Arundel Center, is modeled aftersimilar legislation enacted in New York City, he said.

It would require businesses or managers of facilities "used for public meetings" to purchase two masks, one large enough for an adult victim and onesmall enough for a child. They would have to be posted like a fire extinguisher, so they are "readily accessible," with signs describing their function.

"I see it as having a real public safety benefit,"Boschert said.

The bill has the backing of the county emergency medical services chief.

"I personally think it's a nice idea," saidRoger Simonds, deputy chief of emergency medical services and special operations for the county fire department.

The masks have been standard equipment in most ambulances and other emergency vehicles forabout five years, Simonds said. They sell for about $18 each and canbe purchased at most medical supply stores, he said.

He said the device fits into a pocket and allows the user to perform "mouth-to-mask resuscitation" without any direct contact with the victim.

"It allows you to blow air into the mask and resuscitate the victim, but the mask prevents saliva from passing back into your mouth," Simonds said.

"I've heard people say they'd be concerned about that (becoming infected)," Simonds said. "The problem is that today, you just really don't know what might happen."

The bill drew no strong objections last week from the Anne Arundel Trade Council.

"I think that $36 does not sound like a tremendous expenditure, and if it might save a life at any point, anyone would think it would be worthwhile," said Jeanette Wessel, executive vice president of the group. "What's the price of a life?"

Other council action slated for tonight includes:

* Councilwoman Diane Evans will introduce a resolution directing planners to encourage federal and state government officials to locate commercial and industrial facilities in appropriate areas and inform communities about plans that affect them. The measure is in response to plans for a District Court building in Parole and a post office distribution center in Pasadena. Both plans upset community leaders.

* The council will discuss legislation to raise licensing fees for electricians, gas fitters, mechanics and plumbers. Fees for the county's 5,200 licensed craftsmen have not been raised for more than adecade and should be increased from $12.50 to $50 a year to offset administrative and regulatory costs, county officials say.

* Council members will consider a resolution by Boschert urging the school board to appoint a member of the armed forces as a board adviser. The measure is intended to help the school system's 12,500 military dependents deal with special problems that arise when military parents are put on alert for combat or sent overseas.

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