Legal residents got some lifesaving equipment last week as a federal cabinet minister came by to install two automatic heart defibrillators.
Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose visited the Legal Curling Club last Wednesday to oversee the installation of two new automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
The devices are part of a $10 million national program to install some 2,000 defibrillators at community arenas across Canada.
Legal is one of the first communities to get the devices as part of the four-year program, which is being done in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Defibrillators are being distributed on a priority system, with rinks that don’t have them getting them before ones that need to replace old ones.
About 40,000 people have sudden cardiac arrests each year, said Bobbe Wood, president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
“That is an extraordinarily urgent situation,” she said. “Unless that person is helped immediately, they are going to die.”
A person’s odds of surviving a heart attack rise by up to 75 per cent if they receive CPR and have an AED used on them, Wood continued.
“We want AEDs to be as common as fire extinguishers.”
Mayor Ken Baril said these devices were particularly helpful for Legal, as it no longer has its own ambulance.
“The important thing is to take your training,” Baril said. The town planned to hold a public CPR and defibrillator training course later this year.
Sturgeon County and Morinville are hoping the province will chip in $50,000 to help them work together.
County council voted Tuesday to submit a joint application with the Town of Morinville for a $50,000 Regional Collaboration Program grant from the province. The application was already in the province’s hands, but needed official support from the county and Morinville before it could be considered.
Morinville council was expected to vote on, and pass, a similar motion Tuesday night after this paper went to press.
The grant application came out of a joint meeting between the two councils last Jan. 22, said county Mayor Tom Flynn.
“Our councils both have quite a few new faces on them, so Mayor (Lisa) Holmes and I thought it would be appropriate for us to have a get-to-know-you kind of thing,” he said.
One of the ideas to come out of the meeting was to apply for a grant to explore ways the two governments could work with each other, Flynn said.
“All the towns need some help,” he said, and one way the county can offer that help is by finding opportunities for efficiency and economic growth.
Exactly how the county and Morinville plan to co-operate is pretty vague at this point.
The grant application says that the money would help create a strategic planning priorities document between Morinville and the county that looks at collaboration on planning, transportation, infrastructure servicing and economic development.
“We may want to explore some growth around Morinville,” Flynn said as an example, or share services and equipment. The grant itself would pay staff in both governments to examine these opportunities.
Flynn said this work could help both governments encourage development and keep costs down.
“We’re all working together, and we’ve got to develop the region together.”
The province would likely make a decision on this grant within 30 days, Flynn said.