On any given weekday 10 percent of our population is on school campuses. Nearly 350,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest and a little over 3,000 people per year die from fire. This means we are 100 times more likely to need an automated external defibrillator than a fire extinguisher. Yet, we have laws and building codes requiring fire extinguishers and nothing for defibrillators. What's wrong with this picture?

While defibrillators are located in the corridors of Congress, protecting representatives, senators, staff members and visitors from sudden cardiac arrest, they are not federally mandated in schools.

My daughter was only 14 years old when she died from sudden cardiac arrest. I am now her voice.

We need to help get lifesaving legislation passed in the U.S. Senate. The Josh Miller Hearts Act (S.1197) provides schools with the equipment (automated external defibrillators or AEDs) and training necessary to save the lives of children and adults at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

This legislation already passed the House of Representatives earlier in 2010, but it cannot become law until the Senate passes it as well. Since this bill was introduced in the House in 2008, over 150 children have died of sudden cardiac arrest in schools.

How much are our children's lives worth to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., chairman of the committee in which this bill is still stuck? How many more children do we have to lose before our voices are heard?

CORINNE RUIZ

Bakersfield