It is a portable, easy-to-use device that can restart the heart of a person who is in cardiac arrest.

“Public schools play a central role as gathering places for all age groups in communities across the province,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “This investment in AEDs means every community with a school now has access to this life-saving equipment.”

The cost of installing all 49 AEDs is about $175,000.

(Photo: TDCB)

“Equipping all public schools with AEDs makes our facilities safer, both for students and staff and for those who use our schools for different community events,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan.

When AEDs are used in combination with CPR within the first few minutes, the chances of survival can double.

Bill Wiseman is living proof that AEDs can save lives.  On April 27th, 2016, he suffered cardiac arrest while playing hockey in the Riverview Arena.

“If there was not an AED in that arena, the night I was playing hockey, in all likelihood, I would not be here talking to you today,” Wiseman said.

“We have seen time and time again the impact that AEDs can have when utilized in a timely manner,” said Dr. Michel D’Astous, cardiologist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre and a member of the board for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “It is a matter of life and death, and today we can celebrate that every school in our province is helping to close a gap in the delivery of emergency medical services.”

It is estimated that more than 700 cardiac arrests happen each year in the province.

Provincial Coordinator for the Public Access Defibrillator Program Mary Lou Price says AEDs have saved 35 lives in the province, three of them were in February of 2023.  One of those saves was a youth who suffered cardiac arrest while playing basketball at school.

(Photo: TDCB)

Around 856 AEDs have been registered in New Brunswick.  Price says anyone can purchase a defibrillator for their home, school or business, but they can be registered through Medavie Health Services.

More to come….