MELFORT— Brunswick School in Melfort has installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) due to fundraising efforts.
An AED is a portable electronic device used in the event of a heart attack to re-establish an effective cardiac rhythm.
The school began fundraising near the end of the 2018-19 school year, after all staff received training from Melfort Ambulance called “restart a heart”.
“It became apparent, for sure that with a school our size that an AED is something we should have,” said Rodney White, the school’s principal.
Brunswick School has just under 250 students, from kindergarten to Grade 6.
“On any given day there’s 300 people in our school building, then when you take things that we have over the course of the school year we have events such as assemblies hosted by classrooms and performances.”
The device cost the school about $3,000, which presented a problem as the school only has a set amount of funds to operate in any given year.
“A lot of people ask that, ‘why isn’t there an AED in every school or public facility?’” White said. “The root of it is our school division and the province gives the school x amount of dollars based on your school size that you need to use for a whole host of items.”
White said the majority of the money is typically spent on curricular items, but also include daily items such as phone lines and photocopiers.
“We could have purchased it through our school funds but $3,000 out of our school budget is a pretty large amount and it would definitely impact something else, curricular most likely.”
To get the funds the school began fundraising efforts. They initially expected the fundraising to take at least over a year, but this was changed when the Melfort Kinsmen and Kinettes each donated $1,000.
“We had tremendous support from the Melfort Kinsmen and Kinettes with their definite support of recognizing that this is something we wanted to have sooner rather than later,” White said.” We wanted to try to get it in as soon as we can, and then have it in and have everybody trained.”
White said he never would have imagined it to be already installed.
“But it happened, and that’s great for everybody in our school community,” he said.
The new defibrillator includes an “infant/child key” which allows use for small children.