Regular visitors at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park might be able to notice a minor upgrade during their next morning strolls.
St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon has recently installed a lifesaving automated external defibrillator (AEDs) stand at the park.
The stand was placed through the charity’s Start Me Up BC program, which aims to fill the gap regarding the accessibility of AEDs and first-aid supplies. The program was initiated to place AED stands in high-traffic areas such as parks, beaches, transit hubs, and tourist spots.
Given how quickly a sudden cardiac arrest can turn fatal, Ken Leggatt, COO for St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon, shared that an AED should be no further than three to five minutes away in public spaces.
“Bystander CPR and use of an AED increases chance of survival upwards of 75 per cent,” he added.
Besides the AED, the stand comes equipped with a first-aid kit and a naloxone kit to help bystanders step in during suspected overdoses. With more than 15 opioid-related deaths in Langley in the first third of the year, Leggatt said it was an important step.
“It’s crucial for everyday citizens to understand just how important bystander action is, whether they are facing a cardiac arrest, overdose, or a serious injury. Until an ambulance arrives, bystanders are the first on scene and the ones to give a higher chance of recovery or survival,” Leggatt explained
“We are so excited to now have a stand placed in the wonderful community of Langley, to provide residents with the lifesaving supplies needed to make a difference,” he continued.
AED stands placed through Start Me Up BC are successfully installed through community and corporate support and partnerships. The Langley stand was made possible by the municipality, Leggatt shared.
“After learning about Start Me Up BC, we were quickly on board to get involved. We knew that McLeod Athletic Park was the perfect place for the stand, given that it’s a favourite spot for athletes and families as well as popular for holding large events. With these lifesaving supplies now easily available at the park, we hope Langley residents and visitors can have peace of mind when it comes to their safety,” said Tab Buckner, Langley Township parks operations manager.
“We look forward to possibly installing additional stands to keep even more of the Langley community safe from emergencies,” Buckner added.
The AED stands are temperature-controlled, weather resistant, and available 24/7.
To protect the stands from theft, an alarm is set for whenever the cabinet is opened, a camera takes a photo of the person accessing it, and a St. John Ambulance staff member is alerted by a phone call.
First-aid training isn’t necessary to access the stand, but it is encouraged to have increased confidence and knowledge in using the AED and kits, Leggatt said.
To learn more about Start Me Up BC or to help place a stand, people can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit startmeupbc.ca. To register for first aid training, people can visit sja.ca/first-aid-training.
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