Hundreds of students will be trained in how to use a defibrillator in the Tri-Cities area each year.
And today, Port Moody Secondary was one of the nine secondary schools in the area to launch its first ever defibrillator training program.
Michelle Rose, with ACT Foundation that oversees the training program, says ever since Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced more defibrillators will be installed in recreational hockey arenas around the country, the demand for them has been growing.
Rose says libraries, community centers and schools are all getting on board to install more automated external defibrillators or AEDs.
2,500 students will now be trained in both CPR and how to use a defibrillator each year in nine secondary schools that will implement the program in the Tri-Cities.
“Every year they teach students how to perform CPR. Now they are also going to be learning how to use a defibrillator to save lives,” says Rose. “After a few years, it is quite an impressive number of citizens who are going to be walking around, already knowing these skills.”
The students will be training with 40 donated defibrillator training mannequins and units to learn the skills.
The training is free and is part of the school curriculum.
Rose says the important aspect of training is ensuring students have the confidence to apply what they learned.
” A lot of times, people will look at these machines and say, I am scared of touching them, I don’t know how it works, maybe I should wait for someone who’s more qualified. By providing the training, these students will know how to do it. If they find themselves in this situation, they will have the confidence and the training to go ahead, take those units and possibly save a life.”
Since the AED enhancement in 2012, 13,000 secondary students have now been trained in both CPR and AED.
In B.C., 281,000 students have been trained in the CPR program to date.
Across Canada, 1,640 high schools across Canada have the CPR program and more than 300,000 students are trained by their high school teachers every year.