(a) The West Virginia Legislature hereby finds and declares that each year more than two hundred fifty thousand Americans die from out-of-hospital incidents of sudden cardiac arrest. More than ninety-five percent of these incidents result in death and, in many cases, death occurs because properly trained persons with life-saving automated external defibrillators arrive at the scene too late.
(b) The American Heart Association estimates that more than twenty thousand deaths could be prevented each year if early defibrillation were more widely available.
(c) Many communities around the country have invested in 911 emergency notification systems and emergency medical services, including well-trained emergency personnel and ambulance vehicles. However, in many communities, there are not enough strategically placed automated external defibrillators and persons trained to properly operate them.
(d) It is, therefore, the intent of this Legislature to improve access to early defibrillation by encouraging the establishment of automated external defibrillator programs in careful coordination with the emergency medical services system.