The Toronto Catholic District School Board has taken important steps in making their schools a safer environment with the introduction of Automated External Defibrillators, provided by The Mikey Network.
The new AED equipment was recently unveiled at St. Lawrence Catholic School, which is one of the 72 sites to receive a new AED over the summer break. Working ahead of schedule, all TCDSB schools (202) are now equipped with AEDs.
“We are delighted to partner with the Toronto Catholic District School Board on their installation of potentially life saving defibrillators,” says Mikey Network Chairman and Heathwood Homes President, Hugh Heron. “With our Mikey placements, we are helping give people a second chance at life. As a not-for-profit organization, we’re committed to teaching people how to use defibrillators and how to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.”
In December 2018, the Board of Trustees approved $210,000 to fund the AEDs in all 202 schools. The TCDSB also took steps to train students on CPR and AED use, as well as the staff.
“The implementation of AEDs reflects our continued commitment to well-being for our students, staff, parents and other stakeholders articulated in our Multi-Year Strategic Goals,” says Director of Education Rory McGuckin. “The defibrillators are safe and can be used by anyone in an emergency situation, with the assistance of step-by-step automated instructions within the device. Many of our school staff have already received AED training, and additional staff will be trained.”
According to The Mikey Network, approximately 40,000 Canadians die from sudden cardiac arrest every year, with 80% of the cardiac arrests occurring at home or in a public space. Roughly 35% to 55% of cardiac arrests are witnessed by family, friends, or co-workers. If there’s an AED available, there’s a greater chance of saving someone’s life.
The odds of survival increase 85% when an AED is used in combination with CPR in the first few minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest. Since 2003, The Mikey Network has placed 2,550 AEDs and 43 lives have been saved. The Mikey Network has also trained more than 13,400 people in CPR and AED use.