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Archived - Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue installing AEDs across the country

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Backgrounder: Installing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in recreational arenas across Canada and training people to use them

Almost 850 devices already installed with many more to come

September 19, 2014 - Spruce Grove, AB - Public Health Agency of Canada

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) were in Spruce Grove, Alberta today to announce the installation of five Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre.

The Government and the HSF are aiming to equip all recreational arenas in Canada with the life-saving devices and provide training to use them. To date, over 1,800 AEDs have been approved for installation, and almost 850 have already been installed. Over 7,500 people have received training, thereby boosting their knowledge and skills to confidently use these devices and to quickly deliver CPR in emergency situations.

Defibrillators are electronic devices used to restart a person’s heart that has stopped beating. They are safe, easy-to-use, and they can be operated effectively by the public.

All recreational arenas in Canada are encouraged to apply for an AED under this initiative through the HSF’s website. After all arenas are equipped, funding may be available to provide other high-traffic non-arena based recreational facilities with AEDs.

Quick Facts

  • The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, announced this 4-year initiative in February 2013.
  • At this time, we estimate that over 2000 AEDs will be installed by 2016.
  • Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is providing support to the HSF to develop a national database that will track AEDs installed in recreational arenas. The database is intended to provide local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with valuable information regarding the availability of AEDs located in their jurisdictions.
  • This initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. 


“Our Government is proud to announce that almost 850 AEDs have already been installed in communities across Canada through this partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Expanding the availability of these life saving devices, and training people to use them, is essential for protecting the health and safety of Canadians.  I am pleased to be at the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove to announce the installation of five Automated External Defibrillators.”
- The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

“Our goal is to give every Canadian the ability to save a life. This program combines lifesaving technology – AEDs – with hands-on training so that people will have the confidence to act in an emergency situation. This program would not be possible without the generous support of the Government of Canada. It puts AEDs in the very places where so many Canadians spend much of their leisure time and has potential to save thousands of Canadian lives… to create thousands more survivors.”
- Donna Hastings, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Alberta

“As a regional sport, recreation and wellness center, the TLC services a broad range of people participating in an infinite variety of activities. The safety of our customers is always front of mind. As such the TLC was thrilled to receive five new AEDs as a part of this national initiative, allowing us to ensure that there is an AED accessible in all high traffic areas. The new AEDs are state of the art – an alarm is activated when the unit is removed from its storage cabinet, alerting TLC staff of an emergency, making these units part of our essential emergency operating equipment."
- Phyllis Kobasiuk, Chair, Tri-Municipal Leisure Facility Corporation

“There is seldom a day goes by that I don’t think how fortunate I am that there was an AED and someone with CPR experience that saved my life.”
- Jim Pangle, cardiac arrest survivor

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Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983

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