Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation exceed goal of installing 2,000 AEDs in recreational hockey arenas across the country

Over 2,500 installed in Canada as part of National AED Initiative

CALGARY, July 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Two events took place yesterday to highlight progress and proven success of the National Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Initiative, a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF).

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, joined Alberta HSF CEO Donna Hastings, at the North East Sportsplex Society in Calgary, Alberta, to announce that together they have exceeded the goal for AED installations in recreational and hockey arenas across the country, well ahead of schedule. To date, the Government of Canada and HSF have installed over 2,500 AEDs under the Initiative and over 18,000 people across Canada have been trained on how to properly use them. This is well above the target of having 2,000 AEDs installed by the end of the program in March 2016.

Minister Ambrose congratulated HSF for their dedication and commitment to the health and safety of Canadians and for expanding the availability of these life-saving devices nation-wide.

On the same day in Rosser, Manitoba, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, participated in an event with Manitoba HSF CEO Debbie Brown to highlight a recent life saved using an AED put in place as part of the Initiative. In fact, just two hours after the device was installed at Little Mountain Sportsplex, it was used on an individual who collapsed while participating in a recreational sport. Thanks to the newly installed AED, quick reactions by the manager at the facility and the help of three other volunteers, the individual's life was saved.

This initiative underscores the importance of having an AED accessible for all users in arenas and recreational facilities where moderate to high physical activity takes place, and the difference it can make in the event of a cardiac arrest. In total, seven lives have been saved using AEDs under the National AED Initiative; three in British Columbia, three in Ontario, and one in Manitoba.

Any recreational arena in Canada can apply for an AED through the National AED Initiative by visiting the HSF website. Once all arenas are equipped, funding may be available for AEDs to be installed in other high-traffic non-arena-based recreational facilities.

Quick Facts

  • The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, announced this 4-year initiative in February 2013.
  • Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is providing support to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to develop a national database that will track AEDs installed in recreational arenas. The database is intended to provide local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with valuable information regarding the availability of AEDs located in their jurisdictions.
  • Defibrillators are electronic devices used to restart a person's heart that has stopped beating. They are safe, easy-to-use, and they can be operated effectively by the public.
  • Over 100 AEDs have been installed under this initiative in Manitoba; and almost 350 in Alberta.   
  • This initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. 


"I am proud that our Government has exceeded its AED installation goals under the National AED Initiative, working in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Hearing about the seven lives saved through this program proves that these devices work and reiterates the importance of having these devices accessible for all users in hockey arenas and recreational facilities. Through this initiative and the continued installation of AEDs across the country, we can continue to save lives."
Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"Our Government is truly committed to protecting the health of Canadians, which has been demonstrated by our commitment to working with partners on the National AED Initiative. I am proud of our success in surpassing our goals for installations and training. We have already seen that this initiative actually saves lives, and we know that AEDs will continue to help Canadians in times of need."
Honourable Peter Van Loan
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe

"The Federal government has been committed, long-time supporters of the Heart & Stroke AED Program. With the help of individuals, community groups and funding partners, like them, one day life-saving AEDs will become as common place as fire extinguishers, and we will create more survivors."
Mike Hoffman
National AED Manager, Heart and Stroke Foundation

"I have witnessed first-hand the importance of having AED's in arenas. The AED was installed only two hours before I had to use it on one of our players. I don't want to think about what could have happened if the AED was not there. These machines save lives."
Gord Stevenson
Night Manager, Little Mountain Sportsplex, Winnipeg

"I survived a cardiac arrest because an AED was used and CPR was administered."
Curtis Rosenau
Cardiac Arrest Survivor

Related Products

February 21, 2013: PM announces support for defibrillators in community hockey arenas

September 19, 2014: Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue installing AEDs across the country

February 12, 2015: Minister Ambrose provides an update on AEDs installed under the National AED initiative

March 16, 2015: Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue installing AEDs in recreational hockey arenas across Canada 

March 17, 2015: Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation deliver on commitment to install AEDs in recreational hockey arenas 

March 19, 2015: Harper Government and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue their work to install AEDs in recreational arenas across the country

Associated Links

Additional information available on AED installation and training at the HSF's Resuscitation website

National Automated External Defibrillator Initiative

Automated external defibrillators

Funding for automated external defibrillators


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983


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