North Bay Nugget
May 23rd, 2008

New defibrillator installed at airport

Posted By Nugget Staff

A project that has already saved three lives in less than two years continued to grow Thursday with the addition of another public access defibrillator in the district.

Installed at Jack Garland Airport, the latest life-saving device is the 40th defibrillator put in place in the district by the Lifeline Program at arenas and other high-traffic areas in case of emergencies.

The devices have been credited with saving three lives so far, including a man in his mid 50s who collapsed at the North Bay YMCA in March and two men who collapsed while playing hockey in North Bay and Sturgeon Falls within a two-week period last spring.

The purchase and installation of the new defibrillator at the airport was made possible by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario through funding provided by the province. The foundation has already allocated funding for a dozen of the existing devices in the district and there are plans to add another five.

Marc Picard, manager at the North Bay Central Ambulance Communications Centre, said the new defibrillator was unveiled as part of activities and events marking Emergency Medical Services Week, which runs until Sunday.

“It’s about raising our profile in the community,” said Picard, noting local emergency medical services personnel do a lot of work that often goes unnoticed. “This is the one week of the year that we can showcase what we do.”

Events this week included CPR presentations and multimedia handout kits to local Grade 5 students and a long service awards celebration.

Paramedics, dispatchers and other emergency medical services workers will be at Sears court in the Northgate Shopping Centre Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to meet with the public and display equipment.

“This year we’re trying to educate people about everyone who’s involved in EMS,” said Picard, noting paramedics who respond to emergencies are supported by many others who work behind the scenes.