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

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

UPDATE: B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

Most Read