Around 900 defibrillators have been registered with the County of Simcoe’s Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) Program, but spokesperson Kim Oxley says there are quite a few out there in buildings they don’t know about.
A defibrillator is used to help restart the heart of a person who has gone into cardiac arrest.
Across Simcoe County, Barrie and Orillia defibrillators are now in most schools throughout the region, as well as community centres, municipal buildings, sports facilities, and other public places and private businesses.
However, not all defibrillators have been registered and it isn’t mandatory to do so.
“There are hundreds out there in the County that people have purchased and have available to the public but not necessarily the public knowing about that.” says Oxley.
All registrations for defibrillators go through PAD and are then registered with the County of Simcoe paramedics 911 dispatch centre.
“If someone is calling 911 and they are talking to our paramedic dispatchers, if there is somebody in cardiac arrest, that enables the dispatcher to say there is a defibrillator at this certain location, if that is where they are calling from.” say Oxley.
She says it enables people to get that life saving tool and bring it to the patient.
If anything, there is more awareness about the importance of defibrillators and the public’s ability to use one to assist someone who is having cardiac arrest before first responders arrive.
During the County of Simcoe’s First Aid and CPR courses, people learn about the chain of survival.
“The sooner somebody recognizes that somebody is in cardiac arrest or having cardiac problems, the sooner 911 is called and the sooner CPR is started, and the sooner a defibrillator gets on to that person, then the more chances that person can be brought back to a healthy and quality lifestyle.”
More information: https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/ps/pad