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)

Agassiz schools to be equipped with defibrillators

AEDs to be installed in all SD78 schools and buildings

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 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

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Condo rental bans on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Most Read