Provincial government supports school defibrillator program
More than 40 schools throughout the province will receive Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), as part of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s ‘AED Program – Schools’.
Education Minister Clyde Jackman and Tourism, Culture and Recreation/Innovation, Business and Rural Development Minister Terry French as well as representatives from funding partners Vale and the Resource Development Trades Council (RDTC) made the program announcement in Conception Bay South Monday.
Mr. Jackman explained “This initiative is an excellent example of how a non-profit agency, community partners such as Vale and the Resource Development Trades Council, and the provincial government can work together to achieve a common goal – to make our schools safe and responsive to the needs of the community it serves.
“We are excited to be involved in the first phase of this program, and to help facilitate professional development, through the provision of substitute teaching hours, that will provide school staff with training in the use of AEDs.”
The AED Program – Schools is designed to provide a safer environment for students, staff and members of the school community. Priority is provided to those schools where a student, staff member or both have an identified pre-existing heart condition.
The program builds on the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s former ‘Restart a Heart, Restart a Life’ campaign which, with $225,000 in financial support from the government in addition to corporate sponsorship, has placed about 170 AEDs in sporting arenas and community facilities throughout the province since 2010.
Conception Bay South MHA French said “We encourage active, healthy living among all residents of our province, and having this lifesaving equipment in recreational facilities, including schools, will help increase our comfort level in the event of an emergency.
“Working together with community partners, it is important we continue to achieve the goals we set for the province in our recreation and sport strategy.”
AEDs allow non-medical personnel, with appropriate training, to restore heart rhythm and life. The AED uses voice prompts and text messages to tell the rescuer what steps to take, and delivers an electric shock to the heart.
In combination with early Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), AEDs can increase the rate of survival from cardiac arrest by up to 75 per cent.
Heart and Stroke Foundation NL CEO Mary Ann Butt indicated “With early funding for the program provided by PPI Solutions and Triware Technologies, the generous contribution from Vale and RDTC will ensure a continued focus on the installation of AEDs and associated training in schools. We commend our government and corporate partners for their commitment to health and safety in Newfoundland and Labrador and to the provision of safe environments for students, teachers, school staff and members of the community at large.”
For more information on the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s AED program, visit ‘ www.heartandstroke.nf.ca’.