Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has given a total of 14 potentially life-saving devices to 3 schools near its Hartford headquarters.[@@]

Hartford donated the devices, automated external defibrillators, to Hartford Public High School, Quirk Middle School and West Middle Elementary School.

Hartford says it began pushing for use of AEDs, which can shock a stopped heart back into beating again, several years ago, after a commercial customer asked whether adopting an AED program could help with risk management.

Hartford found studies suggesting that AEDs could increase the survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest to more than 70%, from a typical rate of about 5% in locations without AEDs, the company says.

Hartford now puts AEDs in all of its own offices, and it has arranged a discount purchasing alliance for insurance customers that want to buy AEDs and train employees to use the devices, Hartford says.