If someone goes into cardiac arrest at Masich Place Stadium, their chances of survival have doubled thanks to the installation of a new automated external defibrillator (AED).
The machine, located in a climate-controlled cabinet in the Masich Place parking lot near Griffiths Avenue, was funded by the Bill Bond Memorial Fund. The fund, managed by the Prince George Community Foundation, was created to honour the memory of Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond’s husband, who died on June 6, 2020 following a stroke.
Shirley Bond and her family unveiled the AED at Masich Place Stadium on Thursday. She said her husband was passionate advocate for having AEDs installed in public places, and there are plans for 10 of the machines to be installed in Prince George and the Robson Valley.
“I know Bill would be absolutely thrilled,” Bond said. “Bill deserves this and a whole lot more. We miss him every day.”
When cardiac arrest happens outside a hospital, the chances of survival are less than 10 per cent, according to information provided by the B.C. Heart and Stroke Foundation. With access to an AED and CPR, the chances of surviving double.
The machines, which stimulate the heart with electrical current to get it to start beating again, are like those used in hospitals – except they are automated to allow them to be used by an untrained bystander, by following simple instructions.
The AED is installed in a climate-controlled cabinet, which means it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Bond said. The installation is the first of its kind in B.C. outside the Lower Mainland.
She said the family is in talks with McBride and Valemount to find locations for the next four AED machines. She said she’d like to see them installed in McBride, Valemount, Dunster and at the Mount Robson Visitor Centre.
Bond said purchasing and installing the machines was only possible because of the donations to the Bill Bond Memorial Fund.
“We could not do this without your generosity and friendship,” she said.
She also encouraged her colleagues in the Legislature to support her private member’s bill, calling on the province to provide more AED machines in public spaces throughout the province.
Prince George Community Foundation president Alain LeFebvre said the Bill Bond Memorial Fund will be an ongoing fund, which will support the installation of 10 AEDs in the region in the short term, and more in the future.
Donations to the the Bill Bond Memorial Fund can be by going online to www.pgcf.ca/donate-now or by calling the office at 250-562-7772.