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Essex-Windsor EMS hopes new app can spark a surge in AED mapping, installations

Essex-Windsor EMS is encouraging residents to use free smartphone app PulsePoint to map publicly accessibly AEDs in Windsor and Essex County. Photo taken April 18, 2024. (Michelle Maluske / CTV News Windsor). Essex-Windsor EMS is encouraging residents to use free smartphone app PulsePoint to map publicly accessibly AEDs in Windsor and Essex County. Photo taken April 18, 2024. (Michelle Maluske / CTV News Windsor).
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The Essex-Windsor EMS is turning to smartphone tech to map lifesaving automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in the region as new legislation is set to make mapping mandatory.

Chief Justin Lammers is encouraging residents in Windsor and Essex County to use the PulsePoint app to map and register defibrillators across the region.

“Minutes matter when it comes to instances of cardiac arrest,” said Lammers in a news release. “If you’re a resident, help us map these lifesaving devices so bystanders can access them quickly when an emergency arises.”

Mapping and maintaining publicly accessible defibrillators will be a requirement when Ontario’s Bill 141 comes into full effect.

Officials report there are roughly 560 defibrillators around Windsor-Essex that have been registered, but many more have gone unregistered.

Knowing whether or not there is an AED nearby can be vital for 911 dispatchers sending first responders to an emergency situation.

“All of us have the ability to save a life,” said Hilda MacDonald, the Essex County Warden. “The key is ensuring all our public access defibrillators are mapped and registered and we are calling on the residents of Windsor-Essex to help up us achieve this lifesaving goal.”

CARDIAC CHAMPION

On Thursday, Lakeshore business owner Paul Giberson was recognized as a Cardiac Champion by Essex-Windsor EMS for his efforts to train employees at Post Packaging to use the devices.

Giberson bought an AED for his workplace.

“The idea that for a small investment of money and time our business can be better equipped and trained to save just one life is the best return on investment decision I may make,” said Giberson. “We plan to continue training as many team members as possible.”

Chief Lammers calls him an example for other businesses to follow and hopes to see a surge of new installations across the region.

The PulsePoint app is free to use and authenticates the locations of public defibrillators to be included in the Windsor Central Ambulance Communications Centre to allow for rapid retrieval.

“Instances of cardiac arrest can happen anywhere at any time and we can all help each other by being better prepared,” said Lammers.

An AED is an easy-to-used tool that can restart a person’s heart if it has stopped beating. Essex-Windsor EMS reports survival rates following cardiac arrest dramatically improve if a defibrillator shock is received by the victim within three minutes of collapse – and decrease every minute after that.

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