SVFD Acquiring “Automated External Defibrillators”
The SVFD Board of Fire Trustees recently approved the purchase of two “Automated External Defibrillators” (AEDs) to augment the emergency medical response capability of the SVFD. The AEDs will be essentially the same as the units used by the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS), and numerous fire departments throughout BC have already acquired the same equipment ( LIFEPAK 500 ).
The pace of technological change has been incredible, resulting in highly automated electronic equipment that is very easy to use. Over the past year AEDs have become more and more visible in public places, and AEDs are expected to become required safety equipment at larger public facilities. This should prove to be a Godsend to post-war Baby Boomers as we collectively move into our middle-age years with the associated increased potential for heart attacks!
The AED equipment weighs just seven pounds (3.2 Kg) and is very safe to use. The intuitive design is suitable for infrequent users, with clear screen messages, voice prompts and lighted buttons guide responders, and automatic self-testing helps assure that the device is ready to go. The AED will only administer a shock if it detects that the heart is in ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. When this is the case, the victim has no pulse, is unresponsive and, without treatment, will die.
The initiative for this purchase came from the Belcarra Historical Group (Mike Cotton, Diana Drake, John Doerksen, and Colleen McDonald) with their donation of $3,500 towards the total cost of $12,350 for two units. The BHC donation was matched by Anmore Council, which enabled the SVFD Board of Fire Trustees to purchase the AEDs in the current budget year.
In advance of the AED purchase, the SVFD Fire Fighters Association also spent $1,000 to purchase an AED Trainer and two interactive CD-ROMs that provide patient simulations, operator training and competency accountability. The training software has been installed and SVFD volunteers are becoming familiar with the AED equipment. SVFD’s EMA-FR3 instructor / evaluator, Jamie Roberts, has been certified to teach the AED endorsement and is scheduled to begin certification of SVFD volunteers in April.
On behalf of all residents I want to thank the Belcarra Historical Group for their donation toward the purchase of the two AED units. This new equipment will be an important compliment to the SVFD emergency medical response capability.
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