Local Paramedics Take Defibulator Training

The purpose of an Automatic External Defibulator (AED) is to re-establish the natural heart rhythm when a patient is experiencing cardiac arrest or dangerous arrhythmia. In our actual heart, a natural defibulator is built in, acting much like a pacemaker. As we grow older, it can quit functioning, as it should.

The AED does the same job as an internal defibulator only it is done externally via the defibulator. This has improved the saving of lives immensely, where time is of essence and basically jump-starts the heart back into more favorable working condition. The AED does not cure the original cause of the heart trauma.

On August 20th, eight local paramedics, including Chief Paramedic Brian Wylie took a training course of using the AED, which has been previously resident in both ambulances. The purpose of this course was to re-educate the paramedics due to the change in format for the AED. The course took place at Claude Galibois Centre between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm and was conducted by Kathy Schultz, Instructor for BC Ambulance Services (BCAS) from Fort St. John.

The attending paramedics were given information and then tested on the functioning of the AED to ensure their proper understanding of it. Following the vital emergency process, the AED stores within its memory the information about the patient which is then transferred or downloaded to Vancouver for record.

This device used to be available only in hospitals and ambulances due to its size, but has been significantly reduced and can now be available in a much broader spectrum.

The attending paramedics were Brian Wylie, Bill Hendley, Ben Kostamo, Val Kostamo, Shawna Spratt, Debbie Head, Lilian Ash and Gerri Simmons.