As background, in 2007, the Heart and Stroke Foundation began a program that offered funds to upper tier municipalities for the purpose of placing automatic external defibrillators (AED) in arenas and community centres. There would be 3 more rounds of funding in 2008, 2009 and 2010. A total of 70 units were purchased over the 4 yr period.
The expected operating life span of an AED is 10 yrs which means the first units will soon need to be replaced. Replacement cost is $2,500. Battery and defibrillation pads are replaced every 3 yrs at a cost of $200.
The County is facing three options. 1)To continue to fund the current program over 8 years for the replacement of the expired AEDs at a cost of $17,500 for 2017 alone. 2) only continue to maintain AEDs that meet the heart and stroke funding model which would eliminate 16 defibrillators. These units would be given to marinas and sports fields. This would reduce the County's replacement costs by 40K. 3) To divest the AED's to the lower tiers and private owners where the AEDs are placed. This option would see the County no longer having a Public Access Defibrillator program.
The decision has been deferred to give the 8 affected townships the opportunity to comment.
Anstruther Marina is one of the locations where an AED was installed.
The loss of the defibrillator is concerning especially since hospitals are so far away and most of the cottages on Anstruther are water access only.
We have written to Council to express concern. We have also notified the President of the Anstruther Lake Cottager's Association (ALCA) who has also sent a letter of concern to Council.
We feel it is not a matter of whether the AED's should stay but more a matter of where the funding comes from. We are fortunate to have this technology and it would be a shame to advance to the point that it is here on the lake - only to go two steps backward and have it taken away.
Councillor for Anstruther is Carolyn Amyotte and we thank her for taking the initiative to bring this to our attention. She is concerned and encourages feedback be sent to the Township.