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Library and paramedics team up to make safer places (3 photos)

Raising funds to get more defibrillators in Guelph's public spaces

Local paramedics and the Guelph Public Library (GPL) are teaming up to help get more defibrillators in Guelph’s public buildings.

On Monday they launched the campaign at the GPL main branch.

Donation boxes will be placed in library branches and next spring some library staff will participate in the annual Ride For Heart fundraising bike ride in Toronto.

That event has already seen Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service raise $15,000 which has been used to help place 11 AED (automated external defibrillators) in Guelph and Wellington County public buildings.

“It will save lives in our community,” said Stephen Dewar, the city’s Chief of paramedic services.

Dewar said AED’s are crucial in the chances of people surviving a cardiac arrest.

“We’ve had many examples in our own community of patients whose hearts have restarted with the use of an AED.”

Library CEO Steven Kraft said the main branch library has just received an AED device and it is hoped the other five branches will get them in the future.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, every 13 minutes in Canada a person experiences cardiac arrest and up to 85 per cent occur in public spaces or homes.

“For every minute that defibrillation is delayed the chance of survival drops by seven to 10 per cent. But when early CPR is used in combination with an AED the chance of surviving is doubled,” said Paul Boshart, an advanced care paramedic with GWPS.