Carleton Place – On Friday, the first seven Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) were presented to the recipients of the Canadian Heartland Community AED Challenge. Local MP Scott Reid and MPP Randy Hillier were on hand to award the new AEDs to the Smiths Falls Legion, Smiths Falls Civitan Club, Perth Legion, Lanark Highlands Township, and the Perth Golf Course.
“The Community AED Challenge gives communities the opportunity to come together and raise funds to get their own defibrillators,” said Reid. “Each of these recipients was able to put together over $750 towards each AED they are getting today. It’s a great example of how small-town spirit is still alive around these parts.”
The Community Challenge was created in 2012 to allow Canadian Heartland to maximize the number of AEDs it could distribute within Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington by matching locally raised money.
Hillier remarked, "When someone you love has a heart attack, the best way to save him or her is to have a rapid response by folks trained in CPR. Rural areas haven’t always had the same access to tools and training that urban Canada has. Canadian Heartland helps to make sure folks in rural areas have the equipment and knowledge they need to save a life when disaster strikes.”
Canadian Heartland was created in 2001, when Reid held a "constituency referendum" to determine whether he should opt out of a proposed $21,000 pay raise, or donate the raise to charity each year. Reid contributes the proceeds of his pay raise (over $250,000 so far) to a number of charitable causes aimed at increasing heart attack survival rates, including high school CPR courses, and defibrillators for police cars, fire halls, seniors’ centres, and arenas.