Provin­cial govern­ment sup­ports school de­fib­ril­la­tor pro­gram

The Southern Gazette - - NEWS -

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’.

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