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Measure To Require Hotels To Have Defibrillators Advances

 Chicago's 200 hotels would have to have at least two of the life-saving devices, according to the law.
Chicago's 200 hotels would have to have at least two of the life-saving devices, according to the law.
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CITY HALL — A measure that would require all Chicago hotels to have devices designed to resuscitate someone who has just suffered a heart attack advanced Friday after winning the endorsement of a key city panel.

Chicago's 200 hotels — 65 percent of which are located Downtown — would have to have at least one automated external defibrillator in every ballroom or banquet hall as well as one at the main service desk under the proposal authored by Ald. Ed Burke (14th) and Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th.)

The devices deliver an electric shock to a person's heart in an effort to stabilize its rhythm.

The measure is designed to "protect our residents," and was introduced in response to three deaths at Chicago hotels, Thompson said.

Ald. Brendan Reilley (42nd), whose Downtown ward includes many hotels, noted that hotels already bear a "significant tax burden."

Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Marc Gordon told aldermen that his organization could live with the measure even though it was "unfair."

"What about other public buildings?" Gordon asked aldermen.

After winning the endorsement of the City Council's Finance Committee Friday, the full council is expected to approve the proposal Wednesday.