Heart and Stroke Foundation offers free life saving session

It was a year ago that 11-year-old Caleb Kroffat suddenly collapsed outside the Island Savings Centre during his Cowichan Valley Capitals Junior A hockey game. Immediate efforts to revive the unconscious defenseman were unsuccessful and Kroffat died. Although an automated external defibrillator (AED) was used, it couldn’t bring him back.

There are, however, many times when an AED can help. There are many times when quick bystander support can save a life.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation encourages the pubic to be trained in CPR and AED use and know what to do when someone has a sudden cardiac arrest. In B.C., sudden cardiac arrest takes one life every four hours.

The Foundation is offering free CPR and AED training to the public on Nov. 29 at the Caleb Kroffat Memorial CPR/AED Training Session from noon to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join in the drop-in, open-house style training, which is being offered at the Island Savings Centre along with the RBC Sports Day recreation activities and public skate.

Participants can go through four stations featuring information and hands-on practice for recognizing a cardiac emergency, calling 911, performing CPR, and using an AED. Blood pressure measurements will also be available, as well as information on healthy lifestyle choices. Visit all stations and receive a free CPR Anytime kit.

The Island Savings Centre has four AEDs and is one of several recreational centres in the area equipped with the devices. AEDs are also at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre, Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, Cowichan Aquatic Centre, Fuller Lake Arena and Frank Jamieson Community Centre.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and a person suffering a sudden cardiac arrest needs immediate attention. Quick CPR and AED use within the first minute doubles the chance of survival. AEDs are safe and easy to use.