Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program
he Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program was implemented by the Fort McMurray Firefighters Association to provide automated external defibrillators (AED) to the public in various locations throughout the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The PAD Program is a community based initiative which is intended to increase public involvement and reduce the number of deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
The goal of the PAD initiative is to have accessible lifesaving help for victims of SCA before medical trained personnel arrive. There are a series of critical events that must take place to ensure the best chance of survival for the victim, called the chain of survival. The chain of survival is as follows:
- Early recognition of the event and activation of 911
- Early bystander CPR
- Early delivery of a shock with an AED
- Early advanced life support from healthcare providers
Initiating these steps early in a SCA emergency will ensure that the event runs smoothly and the proper care is delivered as efficiently as possible to the victim. In many cases having access to an AED prior to medical personnel arrival could mean the difference between life and death for SCA victims.
What is an AED?
An AED is a computerized device that uses voice and visual prompts to guide providers through the proper sequence of steps to perform CPR and defibrillation in the event of a SCA. The machine can monitor the heart rhythms of the victim and can tell if their heart has stopped beating. If required, the machine will administer an electric shock, which, if administered promptly and efficiently can restart the heart.
According to the Emergency Medical Aid Act, anybody acting in good faith can provide emergency care to someone in need. This allows non-medical personnel to safely restore heart rhythms and potentially save a life.
How can you help?
With support from the community, AED’s are being placed in organizations and businesses considered ‘high traffic’ areas and easily accessible locations. The purchase, maintenance and staff training of an AED can be very costly, therefore financial donations from participating organizations is an essential component to the success of the program.
If you or your organization is interested in donating to this valuable program, please contact committee members Lana Harding or Abra Hale.