Vancouver Island grocer Quality Foods is making life saving AEDs devices available in 12 communities where they have stores—including the Quality Foods on 10th Avenue in Port Alberni—registering with the BC Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program.
Quality Foods founding partners John Briuolo, Ken Schley and Noel Hayward announced last week that each Quality Foods location, including the main distribution centre, are now outfitted with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
“We have made known to 9-1-1 ambulance dispatchers and businesses in the vicinity of our stores through chambers of commerce that there is an AED nearby, and that it’s available should they have a cardiac situation in or around their businesses.”
As part of the new program, a number of employees in each location have been trained on the devices, supplemented with CPR basics.
“Information from the Heart & Stroke Foundation tells us that, when an AED and CPR are immediately available in certain heart-related circumstances, the patient’s situation is substantially improved,” cites Schley, “so this is one more way that we can give back to our communities, from the perspective of aiding 9-1-1 dispatchers, first responders and the general public.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada describes the AED as a small, portable device used to identify cardiac rhythms and deliver a shock to correct abnormal electrical activity in the heart. As a result of the sophisticated electronics in an AED, the operator is only advised to deliver a shock if the heart is in a rhythm which can be corrected by defibrillation.
If a shockable rhythm is not detected, no shock is able to be given and the provider is then instructed to perform CPR until emergency medical services arrive.
“It gives us peace of mind knowing that we could make a difference in helping a very desperate situation,” Schley said.