During the most recent School district meeting, the board approved a pair of automated external defibrillators to be placed in Merritt and Princeton Secondary Schools. School district chair Gordon Comeau spoke to why the matter was being brought forward.
“It stems from the fact that now two different schools have had to use them, one was in the Okanagan which made the news,” said Comeau. “So, the question was do we have it in our schools and if we don’t, should we look at putting them in our schools.”
Trustee Brian Jespen was fully behind the initiative.
“I’m in favour of them, they’re in my workplace they’re in the arena, they’re everywhere, they’re in malls. So, I’m in favour of it,” said Jespen. “I’ll make a motion that we put one in each high school to start. And then get readback from staff.”
Superintendent Steve McNiven informed the board the prices of the AED’s are $1800 per unit, which has a seven-year life span. There are also added expenses of replacement batteries every four years and new pads every two or three years.
Training of the staff was also discussed.
Although Jespen did note that the AED’s are essentially fool proof. Current AED’s speak to the user and have the ability to make the decision of whether a person should be shocked on its own by reading the persons vitals.
The board did vote unanimously to add the AED’s to the two high schools in the district. The board also will be gathering more information from the implementation of the two AED’s to decide if further schools will be provided with one.
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