All across Canada, public access defibrillators are becoming increasingly common. In Inuvik, one was recently installed at East Three Secondary School, an important community venue. In an emergency, a defibrillator can help save a life. Having the confidence and knowledge to use one can increase those odds. So, we partnered with a fellow medical services company to provide free first aid training to educators. Sarah Ladik covers the story in the following article.
Growing first-aid skills
When a school functions as a de facto community centre, the people who work there need extra skills.
After the installation of a public access defibrillator donated by North of 60 Medical Solutions at East Three Secondary School, the local company teamed up with Matt Vincent and 62 Degrees North to offer a CPR and AED course to educators and older students.
“The school isn’t just a school, it’s a community venue,” said North of 60 owner Paul MacDonald. “It’s used for elders’ events, sports, all kinds of things. It’s important to have trained personnel at the school for those events.”
According to Vincent, public access defibrillators are becoming increasingly common across the country and are often found in government offices and public spaces – now they are gradually being introduced to the North. The idea is that they can be used by the average person in an emergency situation, regardless of training, but a little instruction can go a long way.
Times are changing for first aid training
“We do everything from advanced courses, courses for first responders, to basic CPR,” said Vincent, whose company operates out of Yellowknife. “Times are changing; people are getting more aware of CPR and first aid. Often, it’s a requirement through their work, or they have kids and it becomes important to know what to do.”
To that end, four people took part in the free course offered Sunday morning at the school, including Karen Bibby.
“I wanted to be more familiar with the defibrillator,” said told the Drum, adding it’s a skill that crosses borders, as the devices are the same internationally.
“Having first aid skills throughout the community is an invaluable asset,” said MacDonald. “This is a community venue, it’s important for people here to know what to do in an emergency and it helps them build their own knowledge as well.”
by Sarah Ladik
Northern News Services