CK Getting More Defibrillators To Possibly Save Lives

Automated External Defibrillator portable electronic life saver. (Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Baloncici)

The Public Access Defibrillation Program in Chatham-Kent is improving.

Chatham-Kent Assistant Fire Chief Scott Ramey says an extra ten to 15 units will be arriving shortly and will be accessible in two to three months in more places, such as municipal buildings with more training for municipal staff to become citizen responders.

Ramey says having more accessible defibrillators can potentially save more lives.

“We really want to get the community involved in learning CPR and having more access to defibrillators in facilities where people gather and where there’s an increased risk that somebody can go into cardiac arrest,” Ramey says.

Chatham-Kent is required by the province to have a plan and performance targets to reach people suffering from out-of-hospital heart attacks who require early defibrillation and CPR.

There are 30 defibrillators already spread across Chatham-Kent.

Ramey urges citizens to be familiar with CPR and defibrillators and be comfortable taking action in an emergency.

“One of the key things is telephone CPR so when somebody calls 911, the dispatch centre that the province runs for ambulances is going to give instructions over the phone to assist the person calling in delivering CPR if they’re not already trained,” he says.

Ramey says every minute counts when it comes to saving lives — especially because Chatham-Kent’s population is spread out into many rural areas.

“A perfect example would be the marina at Mitchell’s Bay in the summer,” says Ramey. “There’s lots of people that gather in that area and that’s one of our response time challenges is getting out to the marina… that’s a prime location that the municipality operates where we could put a defibrillator.”