Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) now available in all first-on-the-scene vehicles

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) now available in all first-on-the-scene vehicles

Sechelt Hospital Foundation and Vancouver Coastal Health outfit Sunshine Coast RCMP vehicles with life-saving equipment

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) now available in all first-on-the-scene vehicles

Photo by Leslie Ghag. Jane Macdonald, Executive Director of Sechelt Hospital Foundation (left) and Marie Duperreault, Director at Vancouver Coastal Health (right) meet with RCMP officers outside of Sechelt Hospital’s Emergency Department to deliver new AEDs.

Sechelt, B.C.— On October 30, 2023, Sunshine Coast RCMP officers met with Sechelt Hospital Foundation  and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to receive six new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machines, equipping all first-on-the-scene RCMP vehicles with the life-saving equipment.

The addition of the AEDs, which includes outfitting the RCMP police boat, will greatly increase chances of survival for members of our community suffering a cardiac event while emergency services are responding, extending the window for response by up to one hour in some cases.

“Getting the right equipment into the right hands – in this case it’s the first hands to attend an emergency – is entirely aligned with our mandate. We believe the best medicine is local. Having these AEDs in every RCMP vehicle to help where help is needed empowers us to accomplish that,” said Jane Macdonald, Executive Director at Sechelt Hospital Foundation, who noted that the decision to approve the funding request was an easy one for the Foundation Board members.

An AED is a portable electronic device that attaches to the chest and operates automatically to measure the heart’s rhythm, and determine if an electric shock is needed during a cardiac event. Operating an AED requires no medical training, as built-in audio instructions deliver prompts to assist the user with where and how to place the AED pads for best results.

In combination with the First Aid and CPR training that all RCMP members receive, having an instantly accessible AED in every RCMP vehicle will help save lives in situations where seconds can be the difference between life and death.

“We are so thankful to have this opportunity to support our community through partnering with Sunshine Coast RCMP members,” added Marie Duperreault, Director of the Sunshine Coast Community of Care at Vancouver Coastal Health. “Extending life-saving technology of this kind into the community via our RCMP partners allows patient care to start at the site of injury or illness, supporting the patient earlier and leading to better health outcomes.”

Staff Sergeant of Sunshine Coast RCMP Jennifer Prunty, a strong supporter of adding AEDs to the toolkit for all RCMP members, added: “The best recourse against remote and unpredictable emergencies is greater preparation and increased access to life-saving equipment. We thank the Sechelt Hospital Foundation and VCH for supporting our efforts to save lives on the Coast.”