County purchases eight defibrillators for community groups

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Ivor MacDonald Memorial Rink Manager Wayne Buttle and District 10 Coun. Randy Palmer install an automated external defibrillator in the Thorburn arena. The AED was one of eight devices purchased by the Municipality of Pictou County this fiscal year for community groups. 

PICTOU, NS -   The Municipality of Pictou County has invested in life saving devices for local community buildings.

Council recently approved the purchase of eight automated external defibrillators (AED) that will be placed in local community centres as well as one arena.   The machines are portable devices that checks heart rhythm.  If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.  AEDs can be used to treat sudden cardiac arrest which is a condition when the heart suddenly stops beating.  A training video is provided with each machine for volunteers or staff to watch.  Each device will be mounted to a wall and the portable devices can be removed for use. 

“What we are doing is working hard to get people more involved in their communities and public places for their physical and mental health,” said Warden Robert Parker. “Our population is aging so we need to make sure we have the safest places we can for people to go.”

In the spring of 2018, an AED machine was installed in the Municipality of Pictou County administration building and it was later suggested by council that such portable devices should be in each district.  As a result, the Municipality of Pictou County set aside $12,000 in its 2018-2019 fiscal budget for the purchase of six machines, but because of cost sharing with two community groups, as well as a preferred rate on the machines, it was able to purchase a seventh one. 

Parker said members of both the Durham Presbyterian Church Hall and the Durham Community Hall had requested an AED for their buildings, but since council agreed to only one per district, the groups said they would cover half the cost of each machine so each could have one.

He said having the Municipality set money aside in its budget for such important devices speeds up the process for community organizations who were fundraising on their own to purchase the AEDs.

“The County has one in its administration building so we have dealt with the company and because we buy in bulk, we were able to get some of the price reduced.   It takes the work off the community groups in having to try to find a company who sells them." 

The Ivor MacDonald Memorial Arena in Thorburn is also a recipient of an AED from the County that will replacing an older model it had in its building for more than a decade.

“This is a busy spot with a lot of people coming and going and hopefully we never have to use it, but if there is a need for it, we will have it available,” said District 10 Coun.  Randy Palmer.  

Seven districts were selected in a random draw and in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the remaining districts will have machines.   

This year’s AED recipients are:

District One – Lismore Hall

District Two – Little Harbour Community Centre

District Four – River John Oddfellows Hall

District Six - Durham Presbyterian Church Hall and Durham Community Hall

District 10 – Ivor MacDonald Memorial Arena

District 11- Plymouth Community Centre

District 12 – First Presbyterian Church Hall, Hopewell