AEDs to be installed in five Ponoka schools

Five brand new life-saving devices have been installed at schools in the Wolf Creek Public School division

Five brand new life-saving devices have been installed at schools in the Wolf Creek Public School division thanks to the help of some dedicated volunteers.

With the recent expansion of Ponoka Secondary Campus to include junior high students, Jackie Corkery, chairperson of the Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) school council, felt there was a real need to have automated external defibrillators (AED) installed in local schools.

These devices are intended to help the average individual potentially save the life of a person suffering cardiac arrest.

“We’ve got football games, we’ve got all kinds of stuff going on up there, so I thought perhaps it was a charitable idea to have some AEDs up there to sort of service the community,” said Corkery.

Fundraising efforts by Chicks for Charity, held during the Ponoka Stampede, raised enough money to buy five AEDs for PSC, Ponoka Elementary School, Ponoka Outreach and Mecca Glen and Crestomere Schools.

Corkery says with 600 to 700 students at PSC plus staff, having an AED in the school is important. As a nurse, she feels it is best to be prepared.

“If nobody has the comfort or confidence, or the knowledge base behind using them, they become a useless device or a useless tool,” she explained.

Her hope is to give people the tools needed to use the devices by hosting an information session during senior an evening of girls’ and boys’ basketball games.

The event is set for Tuesday, Feb. 24, when the Broncs will take on the their rivals, the Wetaskiwin Sabres, at the PSC gym starting at 6 p.m. This will be the Broncs’ last home game of the season.

Demonstrations and fun games will be hosted at each half time break, explained Corkery. She said organizers are asking for a $2 donation at the game with proceeds being split with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and PSC school council.

She feels this will give people important knowledge of the devices, which are designed for ease of use. Corkery expects some medical staff will be there to answer questions. “We are hoping to get a good crowd of people out.”

“I’m excited to have this all wrapped up actually and see it come full circle,” she added.