Trustee pushing for defibrillators in schools

Defibrillator registry set to be launched in P.E.I.

A trustee with the Greater Essex County District School Board wants administration to look into putting defibrillators in every school in the district.

Ron Le Clair said Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) should be in schools because children can suffer from heart disease and adults could suffer heart attacks.

"This should really be a matter that's brought right to the provincial level," he said.

Le Clair has the support of Holly Kirk McLean, the area manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Windsor.

"I think that it's something people have a hard time wrapping their head around that you need it in schools but heart disease doesn't really know an age anymore," she said.

McLean talked aout 19 year-old Windsor Spitfire Mickey Renaud, who died as a result of a genetic heart condition in 2008.

Program has support

The initiative also has the support of Michael Mio, the coordinator the Public Access Defibrillator for the City of Windsor. The program coordinator said there are approximately 40,000 cardiac arrests in Canada each year.

The City of Windsor has placed AEDs in 80 public places throughout the city. Mio says the AEDs are easy to use with voice prompts and screen messages.

"Studies have shown that having these lifesaving tools in the hands of responders increases the chances of survival," he said.

Other school districts have implemented similar programs, including the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, which has defibrillators in all 114 of its schools. 

French Catholic and the French public school boards also have defibrillators in some of their schools.

The cost of each AED is approximately $2,000 per unit, according to Le Clair, who is also a Windsor police officer. There are 71 schools in the system.