A partnership between the Government of New Brunswick and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick will see all schools equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
Officials say more than 700 cardiac arrests occur each year in New Brunswick, the AED can restart the heart of a person who is in cardiac arrest.
“Equipping all public schools with AEDs makes our facilities safer, both for students and staff and for those who use our schools for different community events,” said Education Minister Bill Hogan.
The province says it will place defibrillators at the final 49 schools that do not already have one. It means 471 schools now have at least one device.
Officials say adding the remaining devices will cost about $175,000.
Dr. Michel D’Astous, a cardiologist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, said in a statement he continually sees the impact that AEDs can have when used in a timely manner.
“It is a matter of life and death, and today we can celebrate that every school in our province is helping to close a gap in the delivery of emergency medical services,” he said.
Kurtis Sisk, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick, said some previously-installed units have already been used to save lives.
“With this announcement we are not only able to make AEDs more accessible to more people, but we are also spreading awareness about the vital impact of this life-saving tool,” said Sisk.