By Jamie Rieger
Bow Island/Foremost RCMP cruisers have now been equipped with some life-saving devices, thanks to a generous donation from the local Victim Service Association.
“Our Victim Service Association, through their fundraising, has bought us three for our cars. This is not a normal piece of equipment for police cars, so this donation is very appreciated,” said Cst. Jarom Leafloor. “Sometimes, we are the first to arrive on a scene and this will definitely help until the ambulance can arrive. There is also the possibility that we may be talking to somebody who is already in a stressful situation, then has a heart attack. With the AED, we would be able to help them.”
AEDs can detect potential critical heart rhythms and administer an electrical shock to return the heart rhythm to normal.
When an AED is used along with CPR during the first three minutes of cardiac arrest, it can increase a person’s chance of survival by up to 75 percent, according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“The studies and research on CPR and AEDs clearly shows that the person will have a much better survival rate if the CPR and AED is done within minutes,” said Leafloor.
A cardiac arrest event occurs every 12 minutes, or 40,000 a year, in Canada, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Laurie Haynes, from the Bow Island Victim Service Association, said the funds for purchasing the three AEDs, which cost approximately $1,800 a piece, came from money raised at their annual golf tournament, as well as from their casino.
All RCMP officers are trained on how to use AEDs as part of their First Aid/CPR training.
“Level C CPR has AED training and all of the officers have that training,” said Haynes.