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National Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Initiative

Promoting Access to Automated External Defibrillators in Recreational Hockey Arenas Initiative

Promoting Access to AEDs was a national initiative to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and provided training in arenas across Canada. The goal was to ensure that every arena in Canada was appropriately equipped with AEDs and to support training for attendants in using them. A priority of this initiative was to protect the health and safety of Canadians while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. Risk for cardiac arrest - which occurs when the heart fails to circulate blood -increases during intense physical activity (such as when playing hockey), especially in people with underlying cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF), access to early CPR and defibrillation could potentially save the lives of thousands of Canadian adults and children each year. This initiative applied to all public, private, rural and remote recreational arenas, and complemented provincial, territorial and municipal efforts to make AEDs more widely available in as many high-traffic public locations as possible across Canada.

HSF has completed an assessment of the approximately 3,500 arenas in Canada to determine AED needs in PHASE I of the initiative and in PHASE II accepted applications, installed AED's in recreational hockey arenas across the country and ensured staff were trained to use them.

Complementing existing programs, the initiative was rolled out based on a priority system, first ensuring that all recreational hockey arenas in Canada had an AED and up-to-date staff training, followed by installing additional AEDs for larger arenas with multiple ice surfaces as well as the replacement of older AEDs.

Working in partnership with HSF's instructor network, training agencies and local Emergency Medical Services across Canada, training was provided to facility personnel and key users of the devices. While AEDs are easy to use, training equips people with the knowledge and skills to confidently use these devices and to deliver CPR in a timely manner.

Funded Programs

PHASE I: National AED Program

Implementation Framework to Support a National Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) Program Initiative.

Lead/Recipient: Heart and Stroke Foundation of CanadaExternal Link

Partners: Hockey Canada, the Canadian Recreational Facilities Association and municipal governments. The provinces and territories, local Emergency Medical Services, AED stakeholders, St. John Ambulance Canada, Canadian Red Cross, First Nations Inuit Health Branch and First Nations health groups.

Funding: $300,000

Duration: November 2012 to March 2013

Objectives: To develop an implementation framework to confirm the parameters for a national initiative to appropriately equip all recreational hockey arenas across Canada with AEDs and attendant training.

Highlights:

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada conducted a Canada-wide assessment of arenas, including those in rural, remote and isolated areas to assess AED gaps and needs; and develop a detailed implementation framework for the installation of AEDs and attendant training in recreational hockey arenas across Canada. The execution of this plan took place in Phase II of the national AED initiative.

PHASE II: National AED Program Roll-Out

Promoting Access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Recreational Hockey Arenas Initiative

Lead/Recipient: Heart and Stroke Foundation of CanadaExternal Link

Partners: Hockey Canada, the Canadian Recreational Facilities Association and municipal governments, provinces and territories, local Emergency Medical Services, AED stakeholders, St. John Ambulance Canada, the Canadian Red Cross.

Funding: $9.7 million

Duration: August 2013 to March 2016

Objectives:

The National AED Program supported the installation of life saving devices in recreational arenas and recreational facilities across the country to create safer sport environments allowing Canadians to lead active and healthy lifestyles.

Highlights:

The goal of Phase II of this initiative was to support the Heart and Stroke Foundation of CanadaExternal Link (HSF) in coordinating the installation of defibrillators in recreational arenas across the country and providing the necessary training to attendants. HSF used a three-tier priority system to address the AED and training needs of arenas. Consistent with the primary objective of this initiative, the first priority (Tier I) focused on supporting AED installations and training in arenas where no device was currently available. The second priority (Tier II) focused on replacing older AEDs, installing additional AEDs in larger complexes, and supporting re-training only for existing installations. Opportunities to place AEDs in other high-traffic, non-arena based recreational facilities was considered based on available funds (Tier III). After Tier 1 and Tier 2 arenas were equipped, there was support to provide other recreational facilities with AEDs. This program has installed 3000 AEDs and trained 23,000 Canadians. Nine lives have been saved as a result of AEDs installed as part of this initiative.

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