Three Saskatoon Health Region communities are the beneficiaries of a national program to place free automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places.

left to right Ken Hogbin, Heart and Stroke Foundation; Stacey Hanmer, Saskatoon Health Region; Jeff Patterson, Govan Credit Union; Carl Yaworski, Heart and Stroke Foundation.

left to right Ken Hogbin, Heart and Stroke Foundation; Stacey Hanmer, Saskatoon Health Region; Jeff Patterson, Govan Credit Union; Carl Yaworski, Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada administers the placement program through funding from national sponsors. Through this funding, the foundation has already placed 28 AEDs in the province. One was placed recently at the Govan Credit Union. The location is central in the community and the facility is accessible 24 hours a day. Carl Yaworski, Resuscitation Program Manager, Heart and Stroke Foundation in Saskatchewan says the Foundation will train up to six people at each site as part of the AED placements.

Two more AEDs are expected to be placed in the coming months: one in Viscount and one in Middle Lake. Yaworski says AEDs are an important life-saving tool. The AED is a portable machine that applies electrical currents to help a heart establish an effective rhythm during a sudden cardiac arrest.