SD78 trustee Tom Hendrickson hopes to have defibrillators put into the district’s schools. The medical machines improve the chances of survival for patients who have gone into cardiac arrest. Pixabay

SD78 trustee advocates for defibrillators in schools

Says machines could save lives of students, staff

Fraser-Cascade School District 78 (SD78) trustee Tom Hendrickson is hoping to have all schools in the district equipped with automatic external defibrillators (AED) in the near future.

AEDs deliver electric shocks to patients in cardiac arrest, helping to return the heart to its normal rhythm. The machines are safe and simple, with voice prompts directing the administrator.

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

Hendrickson made a recommendation for the school board to look into the lifesaving machines at the SD78 meeting in Agassiz Nov. 14.

“Over the years, whether its on gym floors or hockey rinks or in playgrounds, youth have dropped with heart failure,” he says. “The one that got me was young Griffin Martin.”

Martin was only eight years old when his heart stopped beating during recess at Orleans Wood Elementary School in Ottawa, Ont. in February.

While mystery still surrounds the cause of the boy’s sudden cardiac arrest, it is possible an AED could have saved his life. Martin’s parents have been crusading to have AEDs installed in schools in their late son’s district since his death.

Even before Hendrickson heard of the Ontario boy’s death he had advocated for increased focus on heart health in schools.

“This isn’t something that just came out of the blue,” he says. “I’ve been watching our kids when they play extreme sports like basketball and football or whatever…and they are really straining.”

“What we have to understand is, we are responsible for the safety of students when they come into our schools. And that’s safety from everything: from bullying, from everything,” Hendrickson adds.

“The parents and guardians have to feel that the school district is doing everything within their power to make sure their children are safe.”

Hendrickon adds that the AEDs could save the lives of school staff and administration as well.

The trustee has made a motion to the school board, and a decision will be made at the Dec. 12 meeting.

“If it passes then I can assure you that the units will be in all of our facilities,” says Hendrickson.

Just Posted

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Chilliwack Chiefs visit Kent Elementary

Grade 6 students got a chance to visit with, and play hockey against, some local hockey celebrities

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

The projects are intended to increase tourism numbers and infrastructure in the resort village

Look at the latest: Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Don’t let the new day fool you, there’s still lots to do for Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Names keep adding to vaccine petition

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Most Read