The Rotary Club of Haliburton has invested approximately $6,000 to install a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at the community Welcome Centre in Head Lake Park.

Unlike the several other AEDs that are already sprinkled across various locations in Haliburton, this device is a little different, said Rotarian Ted Brandon.

“This safety station is sort of unique in that it can be mounted outdoors in the open. This unit is heated and ventilated and so can be outside 365 days a year,”

Brandon said. “It will be available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

All of the other AEDs in town are located indoors and are only available during a facility’s open hours.

Long-time Highlander Phil Carrol was instrumental in the effort to bring this new device to Haliburton.

He organized for a representative from Action First Aid to attend a Rotary meeting over the summer and explain the benefits of having an AED available to the community year-round.

“The young woman who came out told us how one of these devices actually saved her life,” Brandon said.

“It was just dumb luck that a fire truck happened to be close by where she went into cardiac arrest, and they brought her back with the defibrillator … What a powerful message, for her to tell her story. I think it really resonated with everyone.”

This new AED is simple to use, Carrol said, and has various “neat” features.

“If you take it out and open it up, it starts talking to you and it tells you exactly what to do, how to utilize it and what to do to the patient.

If the patient is not in cardiac arrest, it will know and it won’t operate,”

Carrol said. “You can’t charge it or operate it if the person doesn’t need it, so it’s really great that way.”

As soon as the storage station is opened up, the AED sends a message to emergency services and contacts in Haliburton.

While first responders will be notified the device has been activated,

Brandon said it was still important to call 911 if someone is in a state of emergency.

“Calling 911 is always the first step. Then get the defibrillator,” Brandon said.

“When you’re on the phone, the operator will actually stay with you and help you through the process.

They will be able to hear the defibrillator talking and will confirm to you what steps to take and when.”

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