February 5, 2019
Facility AEDs Need to be Accessible
There are many health awareness days, weeks and months in Canada each year. Numerous health charities use these events to raise awareness, share information and help the majority of Canadians who are likely to be affected by chronic disease or major illness during their lifetime.
February is heart and stroke month. A time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health and what can be done to reduce the risk of heart disease that affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults – many who enjoy the benefits of recreation facilities. It is also a good time for facility management to confirm that all Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are accessible to the public and in proper working order.
The installation of AEDs in New Brunswick’s recreation facilities is a long-term commitment by building owners, government, Ambulance NB, local community service groups, and facility users to ensure AEDs are accessible, in working order and used without liability. Since 2014, at least 13 people have been saved by bystanders who used public defibrillators in New Brunswick. More than 530 addresses have registered defibrillators with Ambulance New Brunswick, but a CBC News investigation has found many defibrillators across Atlantic Canada are not registered, meaning 911 dispatchers don’t know where to find them. Ensure your defibrillators are registered with the appropriate address and information.
Building management is also reminded that visible signage is essential for AED awareness and all who enter into our recreation facilities. Other forms of awareness that include, but not be limited to, facility print materials, special event communications, rental contracts and audio messages. These are important tools to ensure that users and visitors, who are not always familiar with the facilities layout, are aware that these life-saving devices are on site and accessible.
Recreation NB also reminds members that like all facility equipment, AEDs have a life-cycle. Planning for maintenance and replacement should be identified in the recreation facility asset management plan.
Thanks to the ORFA for reminding us of this important information.