New AED installed at Forrest Field

Forrest Field is now home to a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) thanks to provincial funding and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

A brand-new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) has been installed at Forrest Field, thanks to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Province of British Columbia Public Access to Defibrillation program, which aims to make AEDs available in public places where there is a risk someone could suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

“We now have two AEDs available to help save lives in Ladysmith — one at Forrest Field, and the one at the Frank Jameson Community Centre that was donated by the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary,” said Mayor Rob Hutchins.  “They are easy to use and very effective.”

An AED is a safe and easy-to-use portable device used to deliver lifesaving electric shocks to sudden cardiac arrest victims. You don’t have to be a trained professional to use one — a bystander can simply attach the pads to a person’s chest and push the button when alerted by the AED. The AED takes the user step-by-step through the process with voice prompts and on-screen instructions, including how to perform CPR.

In Canada, up to 45,000 cardiac arrests occur each year, according to a press release. The odds of survival for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are approximately five per cent. With each passing minute, the probability of survival declines by seven to 10 per cent, according to the Foundation. Defibrillation combined with CPR can improve cardiac arrest survival rates by 50 per cent or more if delivered in the first few minutes.

Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture will be working with community sports organizations to help users become familiar with AED use. For more information or to set up a demonstration on how to use the AED, contact Parks, Recreation and Culture at 250-245-6424 or prc@ladysmith.ca.