A new SaveStation has been installed in the city’s downtown gathering place, at the end of Chase McEachern Way - a spot that seemed destined for such a life-saving device.
The Kiwanis Club of Barrie sponsored the life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED), which features a weatherproof cabinet that provides heating and ventilation, real-time feedback on the device and backlighting for full visibility at any time of day.
“I had seen Jamie Massie and Georgian Pontiac sponsor one up at City Hall and I thought to myself that the same values a SaveStation offers, protection of the community, supporting the community, also aligns with what Kiwanis represents,” said Cooper Barben, a member of the local Kiwanis Club who spearheaded the idea.
“What a better way to give back to the community than to have this device in one of the busiest spots of Barrie, where people gather every day," Barben said at its unveiling Thursday morning.
Sudden cardiac arrests happen in Canada on average every 13 minutes, but there is over a 75% survival rate when an AED is used within the first 10 minutes.
Once the cabinet is opened and the AED is removed, an audible and visual alarm will be triggered, a camera will become activated to capture images, and automatic text message alerts get will be sent out to a list of volunteer responders.
The placement at Meridian Place follows outdoor SaveStation placements at City Hall, Georgian College, Barrie Soccer Club, Centennial Beach and many local neighbourhoods and surrounding townships.
Deputy mayor Barry Ward was on-hand for the official announcement and said he couldn’t think of a better place to put the SaveStation.
"I thought it was very appropriate that the SaveStation was at the end of Chase McEachern Way, because anyone who knows that name knows that Chase McEachern and his family were very instrumental in bringing defibrillators to Barrie,” said Ward.
"It is a perfect spot and I can’t say how important initiatives like this are," Ward added.
Chase McEachern was 12 years old when he collapsed at school of cardiac arrest due to an atrial flutter. He died a few days later.