Thanks to the efforts of Town of Sidney councillor Kenny Podmore and a timely story in the Peninsula News Review, a pair of cash donations helped the municipality buy three life-saving devices.
The three new Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) were officially presented to the town on Thursday, June 20. Their purchase was made possible by a cash donation of $2,000 from the First Open Heart Society (FOHS) and $1,000 from the Sidney by the Sea Rotary Club.
“Without you, we wouldn’t have done this,” said Podmore in a special ceremony at town hall.
The event recognized the donations of both groups, as well as the continued dedication by the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department to train people in the use of the AEDs.
Sidney’s deputy fire chief Brett Mikkelson said training in CPR gives a cardiac patient double the survival rate — and a trained AED operator with one nearby gives that patient even more of a chance to survive. Mikkelson said over the next few weeks, the department will train town staff at municipal, public works yard employees and staff at the SHOAL Activity Centre (the three locations for the new AEDs) in their use.
Terry Riley, president of FOHS, said their organization provides support to those people who have gone through cardiac surgery or a sudden event, as well as their families. He said a story in the PNR prompted him to make the donation.
The Sidney by the Sea Rotary Club, represented by Hein Moes, donated $1,000 about two weeks ago, which paid for one of the devices.
Judy Wiggins, manager of the SHOAL Activity Centre, said they’ve only had one cardiac incident at the centre in her five years there, but an AED on site will be a vital tool as they serve a predominantly senior population.
“I hope it’s something we never have to use,” she said.
“But if we do, it gives us a lot of confidence.”
Acting mayor Steve Price added that it’s a goal of the town to improve safety among the residents of the community. He credited Podmore for his efforts in getting the AEDs.
Podmore said he embarked on a quest to get support for the devices due to the town’s large population of seniors.
Councillor Tim Chad, also at the event, noted later that there are two AEDs already at Panorama Recreation Centre, where some 65 people (mostly lifeguards) are trained in its use.