More than 1,000 defibrillators (AEDs) will be available in public places throughout the province to help cardiac arrest victims.
The Manitoba government is providing the emergency life-saving devices for free to gyms, arenas, community centres, golf courses, schools and airports.
The province compared the devices to the same requirement that all public places must have a fire extinguisher present.
“As a paramedic, I have seen the life-saving difference defibrillators make during sudden cardiac arrest before I arrive on the scene,” said Chris Broughton, a Winnipeg paramedic and president of Manitoba Government and General Employees Union Local 911. “Manitoba’s new legislation will not only ensure defibrillators are more widely available, but in those critical moments following a cardiac arrest, the legislation will assist bystanders in quickly finding and using a defibrillator in public places.”
The AEDs will be provided on a first-come-, first served basis and will be purchased by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba from provincial funding. Facilities will be required to have the defibrillators in place by January 31, 2014.
A full list of designated public places that will be required to have a defibrillator on site, as well as information about the types of defibrillators that are acceptable and how they must be installed and registered is available at Manitoba.ca/health/aed.