Astoundingly, it wasn’t until recently that AED devices were mandatory in fitness centers across Connecticut. Our state is filled with bright, tenacious people who are looking to better the community and Suzanne Brennan is one of them. We recently had the opportunity to speak with her regarding the importance of AED device accessibility and how one person’s hard work can make positive changes at the legislative level.
Gov. Lamont recently signed into law Public Health Bill SB-1083 which, among other things, requires gyms and health clubs to have an AED and someone trained to use it on the premises. Sen. Will Haskell remarked, during the Senate debate, that you were a driving force behind this legislation. Can you tell us why this was so important to you?
I’ve heard it said that ‘out of tragedy comes strength’ and this is life’s lesson and truth for me. My 50-year old husband suffered a sudden cardiac event in a CT health club 9 years ago and there was no one there to help him. It was then that I learned, shockingly, that AED devices were not mandatory in CT fitness centers where patrons are intentionally raising their heart rates. The chance of a loved one surviving a cardiac event diminishes 7-10% for every minute that passes without intervention such as CPR or AED. I have many friends and family that work out regularly and couldn’t bear the thought of another loss in such a senseless way.
Many people have written about what a remarkable job you did in helping to push through this very important legislation. What did you learn about this process, what would you like to share with others about this part of your journey, and how personally rewarding was this for you and your family?
My children have heard me say time and time again, Just Keep Going, and it’s that simple. Whatever you believe in, whatever wrong you want to ‘right,’ point yourself in a meaningful direction and surround yourself with like-minded warriors. Keep writing – keep asking – keep calling – keep praying – Keep Going.
Could you briefly describe the process from having this idea, to contacting your legislator, to what follow-up actions you took, and finally your involvement in seeing this become a law?
The three P’s for me: Polite – Persistent – and Prayer. I looked for connections – people who may have had a similar story or crossed paths with my husband growing up in CT. I researched CT legislators and their backgrounds, emailed my story, shared testimony from others, called and left phone messages. I didn’t pay attention to what party anyone belonged to – this was a life-saving effort that mattered for everyone. I publicized all I could on social media too – and prayed!
What would you encourage other people to do that have recognized some type of wrong that could be addressed legislatively and how they might go about taking an idea and helping to make it a law?
It’s about serving others. We all have personal circumstances and preferences, but legislative change comes down to what makes the most difference for the most people – and then give it your ALL.
What other ideas, if any, do you have that you would like to present to our legislators about things that can be done to help to protect the health and safety of the citizens of the State of Connecticut?
I feel a great pull in the area of suicide prevention, education, and compassion. Stay-tuned…
Any last thoughts that you would like to leave our readers with?
As a multi-generational Ridgefielder, I take enormous pride in serving Lounsbury House – our historic community center — as its Executive Director. I’m able to engage in so many different pockets of our community, always keen to remember that “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” and I think that’s a beautiful way to work and live. I appreciate this opportunity to share and invite everyone to live life with an abundance of gratitude — always remembering the potential we each have to make good things happen for those of us here now, and for those that will follow.
Pro Tip: Personal injury cases that involve significant injuries sometimes require the services of an injury attorney who can help in a variety of accident cases. Should you have any questions about your Connecticut accident case, please contact us.