Canadian PAD Programs Offering Free AEDs and Training!

Free AEDs - BC PAD and National PADCommunities and facilities throughout Canada have the opportunity to receive free AEDs and CPR/AED training through the BC and National PAD Programs.  Iridia would like to raise awareness that these AEDs and training are available through a simple application process.  With the public’s help, we can communicate theseopportunities to communities and facilities that meet the criteria – please spread the word. An increase in AED placements will lead to an increase in lives saved across the country.

Please see the BC PAD Program and the National PAD Program summaries, criteria and application process:

Heart and Stroke BC PAD Program

Program Summary

Since 2013, The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) of BC has been placing free AEDs in areas they identified as priority locations for AEDs.  To date, 264 AEDs have been placed and 3 lives have been saved.

  • The HSF has a goal of placing 450 AEDs
  • The HSF has recently opened up the application process to additional sites

Program Criteria

  • Locations must be open to the public where large numbers of people gather and/or where there may be a delay in accessing emergency services
  • Very small communities that have one central meeting area in town
  • Not-for-profits that perform outreach to large groups of people
  • Senior centres
  • Churches that have a community building attached
  • HUB Schools (host after school programs, rent out the location)
  • Recreation centres
  • Swimming pools / aquatic centres
  • Community centres
  • Public libraries
  • Busy playing fields 
  • Parks and beaches

Application process

  • If a facility/community location meets the above criteria, they will need to complete the application and email it to the BC PAD Program Manager for review/approval
  • Each application asks that the facility provide a letter from the community supporting the site to have an AED installed
  • To learn more about the program, please visit the BC PAD Program Website

Heart and Stroke National PAD Program

Program Summary

Since 2013, The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) of Canada has been placing free AEDs in rinks and arenas all across Canada.  The end goal is to have an AED in every rink and arena from coast to coast. To date, the program has placed 1,773 AEDs in rinks and arenas across Canada. The end goals is to place 8,000 AEDs across Canada.

  • The HSF is still accepting applications from rinks and arenas that do not have an AED
  • The HSF has recently opened the application process up to facilities that are not rinks or arenas

Program Criteria (For non-rinks/arenas)

  • Locations must not have an AED to be considered for a free AED and training
  • Facilities that permit public to use their premises, services or equipment for exercise, fitness training, bodybuilding or similar purposes and where at least 20 hours of indoor/outdoor physical activity programs are held in the majority of weeks in a year. This includes:
    • martial arts facilities
    • dance studios
    • wellness centres
    • curling rinks
    • and similar facilities
  • Special consideration will be given to isolated and remote First Nations, Métis and Inuit community locations, which may include community centres, medical transport, fire departments and central meeting locations

Application process

Thank you in advance for sharing these details with your friends, your communities and facilities that meet the criteria laid out by both programs. Together we can help enable peace of mind. If you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help – simply contact our AED department at:

 

The Case for Public Access to AEDs

Automated External Defibrillator Banner

For one man, a trip to a local mall turned into a cardiac emergency. Without warning, he was struck by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) – a life-threatening condition that affects up to 40,000 Canadians each year. Without rapid treatment, particularly a shock delivered by an automated external defibrillator (AED), most cardiac arrests result in death.

This man was fortunate to have had his SCA event in the right place and at the right time. Mall security immediately started CPR and knew that using an AED was the critical next step. Fortunately, a London Drugs store was nearby. They had an easily accessible AED located in their pharmacy and, most importantly, staff trained to use it. Thanks to the actions of mall security and London Drugs staff, this man beat the odds and survived his cardiac arrest.

London Drugs AED

Having ready access to an AED is key, as every 1 minute delay in defibrillation will reduce survival rates by 7% to 10%. The fact that London Drugs had an AED immediately available significantly contributed to this man’s survival – London Drugs clearly demonstrates the importance of public access defibrillation (PAD) programs.

London Drugs is a pioneer in Canada when it comes to implementing a workplace AED program. London Drugs was the first major retailer in Canada to put AEDs into all of their stores and they have trained over 1,000 employees in CPR and the use of an AED. The program was developed in partnership with Iridia Medical who is an industry leader in PAD program development and implementation. Each London Drugs store has an AED located in the pharmacy and the front door of every store has a window sticker indicating that the location is equipped with an AED.

London Drugs AED

London Drugs’ AED program actively promotes their “good neighbour” policy in recognition that none of the surrounding retail outlets has an AED present. If an AED is needed, London Drugs and their staff are there to help. To date, the AEDs have been used 7 times since the program launched in 2009. In 4 cases, the incidents occurred at surrounding businesses that did not have an AED and London Drug staff responded with their AED. These businesses now further appreciate the importance of quickly using an AED during an SCA to raise survival rates.

Canada is making strides when it comes to widespread public access to AEDs. In 2013, the Heart and Stroke Foundation launched a formal PAD Program in British Columbia. This important initiative will see about 650 AEDs placed in public locations over three years. Additionally, in 2014, the government of Canada in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation launched a national campaign. This ground-breaking program will see over 2,000 AEDs installed in arenas and recreational facilities across Canada.

London Drugs’ AED partner, Iridia Medical, is involved in both of the provincial and federal programs which will help raise the awareness of AEDs and hopefully raise out-of-hospital survival rates.

London Drugs is a glowing example of a workplace AED Program as well as a public access AED program for the community. In our next blog, we will take a look at what the future holds for public access to AEDs. In the meantime, please help us by spreading the word about the importance of AEDs – learn more.