‘Save A Life’ contest promotes awareness of defibrillators

Grande Prairie emergency medical responder Kayle Riddell-Poole wants more people to know about Automated External Defibrillators and how to use them.
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Grande Prairie resident Kayle Riddell-Poole is one of two winners in a national contest put on by St. John Ambulance to raise awareness about Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

The #savealifeselfie contest encouraged Canadians to take selfies of themselves at places in their community where AEDs are located — which St. John Ambulance says are often “hidden in plain sight.”

The organization notes defibrillation can increase the odds of survival by as much as 75 per cent for someone suffering a cardiac emergency. And the earlier defibrillation occurs, the greater the chance of a successful outcome. Earlier this winter, St. John Ambulance released the free Save A Life app, to help both first responders and the general public to find an AED quickly.

Two AED makers donated defibrillators for the contest, with the winners selected by a draw.

Riddell-Poole, who submitted seven selfies and pictures of AEDs in and around Grande Prairie, is an emergency medical responder and St. John volunteer.

“I entered the contest because I wanted to help promote the knowledge of AEDs to everyone — what they are, how they work, all of it,” she said. “I went around Grande Prairie trying to register as many AEDs on the new app as possible and I was amazed at how many people didn’t know what they were, never mind how to use one.”

Riddell-Poole, who also volunteers as the chief medical officer for the Western Off Road Racing group, has plans for the AED she won.

“I plan to have it in my jump kit for when I am in charge of the medical for the racing group, as well as to help teach other people about AEDs and how important they are.”

For more information on the Save A Life app, see stjohn.ab.ca/savealife.

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