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Surrey Schools will be installing Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) at all secondary schools, plus four other district sites, in the coming weeks.
The Surrey Board of Education approved installation of the AEDs in the spring of 2019. Since then, district staff have worked to develop a detailed implementation plan.
AEDs are portable devices that are applied to a person's chest to treat sudden cardiovascular arrest, caused when the heart's electrical impulses become abnormal and life threatening. AEDs are used to deliver an electric shock that can restore normal rhythm to a heart.
In addition to having the devices at all 20 Surrey secondary schools, the district will install one each at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, the District Education Centre (DEC), the District Facilities Centre and the Resource & Education Centre (REC).
"While not required by legislation, the Surrey Board of Education wanted to take a proactive approach on AEDs," explained Surrey Board of Education chairperson Laurie Larsen. "We made our decision to install these devices in the spring of this year. The motion was quickly passed as the safety of everyone in our buildings is our top priority. These devices need to be accessible when they are needed."
Installation of cabinets to house the AED devices began this week, and staff training and orientation is scheduled to start next week. The AEDs will be placed at each site on the day training is completed. It is expected that by the end of November, selected staff at all secondary schools in the Surrey School District will be trained on the appropriate use of the devices and each school will be equipped with a defibrillator.
The total cost for purchase and installation in all 24 sites was just over $50,000.