Pictured above in front of fire hall, left to right: Mike Wilson – Volunteer Fire Chief, Bill Wiseman – Chris Brothers, Loran Demone – Volunteer Fire Fighter and Bonnie Yates – Secretary of Auxiliary of Cornwall & District Fire Department.
This past February, during Heart Month, Chris Brothers conducted its second annual Chris Cares AED giveaway via social media, awarding one of the life-saving devices to Nova Scotia’s Cornwall & District Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire Chief Michael Wilson was presented the device by Chris Brothers/Bonté Foods representative Bill Wiseman during an afternoon presentation on Tuesday April 23 at the Cornwall & District Firehouse, Mahone Bay, NS. The AED device and training associated with the device are valued at approximately $3,500.
The AED provided by the Chris Brothers will kept onsite at the Cornwall & District Firehouse, a facility that also serves as a venue for local community events. The importance of having the device onsite cannot be understated, and is something that area resident Bonnie Yates identified when she submitted the entry that garnered the department the life-saving device.
“We serve our communities 24/7, all year long,” Yates wrote. “Not only do we provide fire protection services but also provide medical first response service. An AED would be wonderful to have at any and all times, but especially during our fundraising activities when…our entire fire department is present, but also many of the community’s residents.”
You could say the matter was personal for Yates. Not only did her late husband John serve as the Cornwall & District Fire Chief for more than 20 years, an AED saved the life of another Cornwall volunteer firefighter, Loran Demone.
“About five years ago, at one of our summer fundraisers, Loran was working at the canteen selling food when he collapsed,” current Cornwall & District Fire Chief Michael Wilson recalls.
“Many people thought he had simply fallen, but he was actually experiencing cardiac arrest. I called 911 and subsequently grabbed the AED device that the department is supplied by Nova Scotia’s Emergency Health Services (EHS) for all emergency calls and began working on him almost immediately. By the time EHS arrived, we had shocked him four times and got his heart rhythm re-established.”
Wilson has little doubt that the AED saved Demone’s life and, given the central part that the Cornwall & District Firehouse plays in serving the community, is grateful there will be a life-saving device onsite should the need for it arise.
“We don’t want anyone to be without access to an AED at the time they need it most,” Wilson says. “In the past, if there was a community event taking place at the firehouse and the emergency team got dispatched to a call, the AED went with the first responders. But now, we can take comfort knowing there is an AED available for use at the firehall as well.”
In an emergency situation, Wilson knows every second counts, and wants to be sure people have access to AEDs when they need it most. As such, 911 emergency centres, in conjunction with the health authorities in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have registries of available AED devices for public use.
“Even if the facility you’re at doesn’t happen to have an AED onsite, a 911 operator will be able to quickly identify the nearest location of a device,” Wilson says, noting the Cornwall & District Firehouse is also looking into how it can ensure its AED is available for public use should the need arise.
Chris Brothers and its parent company Bonté Foods are proud to continue this annual initiative to heighten awareness and availability of AEDs. The company invited nominations from Atlantic Canadian organizations on the importance of an AED to their organization. The 2018 recipient of the Chris Cares Annual AED Giveaway was Memramcook’s École Abbey-Landry School.
The multi-award winning Bonté Foods is Atlantic Canada’s largest deli meat producer. Its signature brand, Chris Brothers, is known throughout the region for being “Atlantic Canada’s Deli.” Headquartered in Dieppe, Bonté is Canada’s largest producer of donair products.