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News - All - 25 Oct 2017

News Item 20 of 4273 

Miscellaneous: 25 Oct 2017
Canadian border guards in northwestern Ontario receive a much needed defibrillator as a gift

Canadian border agents at the Pigeon River border crossing have been asking for a defibrillator since 2012. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)

The Canadian border guards at the Pigeon River border crossing now have their own automated external defibrillator thanks a generous donation from the Superior North Association of Professional Paramedics in Thunder Bay, Ont.

According to the president of the association, Ryan Ross, border agents at Pigeon River have been asking for a defibrillator of their own since 2012. He said the association first found out about the issue "through one of [their] paramedics...[who] use to work at the border, as a border guard."

"They reached out after our senior CPR program, a couple weeks ago, and asked if there's any way we could come up with a defibrillator for them," Ross added, because "they've been borrowing one from a local first response team" which they've had to return just last week.

Ross said he and the association were shocked when they first heard about the issue.

"That's a pretty high traffic area and given the distance from town, it usually takes us 35 to 45 minutes to get out there, its going to take the helicopter upwards of 20 minutes plus, and if you are in cardiac arrest, that is unacceptable," Ross explained.

"We were very shocked and a little bit scared even."

Soon after, Ross said he had a discussion with the association's executive committee and the decision to purchase a defibrillator, using the funds from the association, was quickly made.

"The one that we found was about $500 U.S. but it was a factory refurbished one," Ross said.

"The ones that you buy in Canada that come straight from the factory are upwards of $1800 to $2000, depending. So they are not cheap but they are also not super expensive, given what they do and how important they can be."

An automated external defibrillator, also known as an AED, is a portable electronic device that can potentially help save the life of someone whose experiencing cardiac arrest by sending waves of electric current to the heart.

"The border guards are very well trained in CPR and how to use a defibrillator already," Ross continued.

"So it's going to be a fairly easy hand off, I think. We're just going to give them the unit, show them how it works, go through some general maintenance stuff and that will be it."

The device was delivered to the Pigeon River border guards on Tuesday morning.

CBC News/Twitter/AA
 

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