The SD78 board approved a motion to have automatic external defibrillators installed in all of the district’s schools and buildings at the board meeting Dec. 12. (Wikipedia Commons)

Hope schools to be equipped with defibrillators

AEDs to be installed in all SD78 schools and building

All school district 78 (SD78) schools and buildings will soon be equipped with automatic external defibrillators (AED) after a motion by trustee Tom Hendrickson was passed at a board meeting Dec. 12.

Hendrickson introduced the motion at a Nov. 14 board meeting, citing the tragic loss of eight-year-old Griffin Martin, who died earlier this year after going into cardiac arrest during recess at an Ottawa elementary school.

AEDs deliver electric shocks to patients in cardiac arrest, helping to return the heart to its normal rhythm. According to a presentation by assistant superintendent Kevin Bird, the machines will be installed in alarmed cases in all SD78 sites.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website says the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest more than double when early CPR is administered along with an AED in the first few minutes.

“Waiting for an ambulance to arrive would take too long,” Bird said.”We would have them installed at school so they can be immediately grabbed and brought to the places where they would most likely be needed.”

Bird said factors like age, activity, sports and unknown heart conditions, especially in youth, are just a few of the reasons the AEDs are necessary.

“We do have an aging teaching population so there may be other needs in the school as well,” he added.

In November, Surrey high school basketball player Raphael Alcoreza went into cardiac arrest during a game at Holy Cross Regional High School.

The Grade 12 student had told coaches he felt dizzy and lightheaded before he collapsed and was rushed to hospital. He died in hospital in early December.

“We don’t know if one of these machines would have saved him,” Hendrickson said to the board Tuesday night. “But it is our responsibility as trustees to give every opportunity and every chance [to kids.]”

The province of Manitoba has had a Defibrillator Public Access Act since 2013, requiring all high-traffic public places to be equipped with AEDs, and a number of school districts across B.C. have already equipped their facilities.

Cost and funding for SD78’s AEDs have not yet been determined.

Just Posted

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Hang gliding video gives stunning view of Harrison and Fraser river confluence

Aerial view shows striking difference between two rivers as they meet

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

The most h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s spelling bee you’ll ever see in Chilliwack

Secondary Characters Musical Theatre hits the stage with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read