‘A sudden cardiac arrest can affect anyone’: Vancouver to place 1,000 AEDs throughout city

CTV News – by Emily Silva

The City of Vancouver approved a motion earlier this month that will place 1,000 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), as well as first aid supplies, throughout the city.

According to a news release, the motion was brought forward by St. John Ambulance B.C. & Yukon as part of their Start Me Up B.C. Program, which seeks to fill the gap when it comes to the accessibility of AEDs and other first aid supplies. 

AEDs are electronic devices that can help restart someone’s heart if they’re experiencing cardiac arrest.

The group said that each stand installed throughout the city will include an AED, as well as a naloxone kit and a first aid kit.

According to Ken Leggatt, COO for St. John Ambulance B.C. & Yukon, there are about 40,000 sudden cardiac arrests annually in Canada.

“Of those 40,000, about 6,000 are in B.C. each year,” Leggatt told CTV News. “A sudden cardiac arrest can affect anyone at any age, in any location.”

According to the news release, Vancouver currently has 75 AEDs across the city, but they are mainly located inside buildings with set hours.

The stands that will be part of the Start Me Up B.C. program will be temperature-controlled and weather resistant, allowing them to be placed outside or inside and be available 24-7.

St. John’s Ambulance has already placed 10 stands across the city, in various locations including their head office on Cambie Street, several SkyTrain stations, Crescent Beach, and Townsend Park.

The stands are also protected from any theft, containing an alarm that will go off whenever the cabinet is opened. It will immediately notify a St. John Ambulance staff member by phone and a camera will also take a photo of the person accessing the stand.

“We have high hopes about this program and believe it will make a positive impact when it comes to the willingness of bystanders to respond during emergencies,” said Ty Speer, CEO of St. John Ambulance B.C. & Yukon in the news release. “AEDs, naloxone and first aid has saved so many lives, these stands will help save many more.”


Start the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *