Cowichan Lake Recreation now has the capacity to re-start your heart.
The Cowichan Lake Sports Arena announced last week that they’ve acquired two automated external defibrillators; devices used to electrically shock the heart into regular rhythm.
The small devices are now open to the public for use.
Looking over one of the defibrillators, West Cowichan facility coordinator Rob Frost is quick to point out how simple the battery-powered machines are to use.
“It tells you what to do, step by step,” he said. “It speaks to you, and records what happens.”
The defibrillators also include a diagram of where to put the two pads, and comes with a mask, scissors, and a razor.
Frost has been charged with keeping the defibrillators in working order, checking them daily, and more thoroughly on a monthly basis, during which time he checks to make sure the batteries are charged appropriately.
One of the two defibrillators is located in the concession area, while the other is located in the upper seating area.
Defibrillator use can be instrumental in helping people survive cardiac arrest.
“Cardiac arrest is a condition in which abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias occur, the heart suddenly stops beating; the victim quickly loses consciousness and collapses,” a Cowichan Lake Recreation press release reads. “For every one minute that defibrillation is delayed, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by seven to 10 per cent.”
One of the two defibrillators came to Cowichan Lake Recreation free of charge, courtesy of the 2010 Olympics Legacy, while the other was purchased with operating funds prior to the arena renovation project.
Most Cowichan Lake Recreation employees have received training on the devices, courtesy of Lifesaving Society personnel.
Another education course will be open to the public, and will take place Saturday, September 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the arena.
Priority spots will be awarded to hockey and figure skating coaches and members of the public that often visit the arena and have interest in learning more about the defibrillators.
Those interested in registering can call the arena office at 250-749-6742.