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AP 648: Automated External Defibrillators(AEDs)


The use of AED devices have been approved for use in Northern Lights School Division facilities to increase the rates of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest when used in conjunction with early recognition of symptoms, early activation of the Emergency Medical Service (911 - ambulance), early and productive application of cardio-pulmonary
resuscitation (CPR). Early defibrillation (ideally within the first 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest) has shown to increase the survival rate and support the best possible outcomes after discharge from hospital. Recently, through use of microprocessors, the use of AEDs has become more commonplace and easier for the lay person (non-medically
trained) to use properly. The Superintendent is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and others at Division properties and supports the use of AEDs on its premises for emergency situations by trained individuals.


  1. Site Selection
    The sites/schools that will host an AED will be selected on the basis of school population, other AED availability, remoteness to medical services, and activities regularly conducted at the site/school. The Division's Safety Coordinator will maintain a priority list and liaise with administration to install the devices. Installation within the site should consider a central location, ideally near physical activities/gym, ideally near a telephone, and ideally be available to user groups of the site/school.
  2. Device Selection
    All AEDs must meet CSA standards before installation and shall be maintained according to manufacturer's specifications. AEDs will be housed in alarmed cabinets and have appropriate signage applied to the outside of the cabinet. Other supplies should be provided with the AED including barrier devices for CPR, disposable razor, scissors, disposable gloves, and wipes. The Division Safety Coordinator shall keep a record of the make, model, and serial number of each installed AED purchased or donated to a site/school.
  3. Maintenance of AED
    1. The Principal (or designate) shall ensure a monthly visual maintenance check of the AED and equipment is conducted and documented.
    2. The Division Safety Coordinator will liaise with local EMS services to inform them of the placement of the AED and cabinets in each site that service covers.
    3. The Office of the Secretary-Treasurer will assume the costs of replacement pads and batteries used after an emergency.
    4. Use of the AED will be documented using the First Aid Record Form found as F 407-1 in the Administrative Procedures Manual and filed with the Division Safety Coordinator within 72 hours.
  4. Training
    The CPR-AED portion now found in Emergency and Standard First Aid course is sufficient to operate the AED. Further, if directed by the 911 operator, any person can apply and use the AED in an emergency by following the 911 operator and voice prompts from the AED. The first aid trained personnel and availability of the AED will be
    noted in the First Aid Plan required by the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code (2006). The Alberta Emergency Medical Aid Act provides a hold harmless clause for first aiders provided they work within the scope of their training and are not deemed to be grossly negligent. Medical oversight (physician) is no longer required in Alberta for these devices. Inquiries about training should be directed to the Division Safety Coordinator.
  5. Use of AED
    Since the AED will not allow a shock to be delivered unless a recognized cardiac rhythm is detected, use is limited to very specific circumstances that do not easily lead to inappropriate use. It is expected:
    1. Emergency Responder/First Aider Roles
      1. assess the scene for safety (i.e. make sure victim is not part of an electrical circuit)
      2. determine responsiveness
      3. activate EMS/911 system - get or call for AED
      4. check victim for breathing
      5. start CPR if not breathing/responsive/poor skin circulation (most often very bland colour). Feeling for carotid pulse is no longer expected nor desired for first aid trained personnel
      6. apply the AED pads and activate unit as soon as possible
      7. follow voice prompts of AED for application of shocks (if advised), CPR, and analyzing rhythms. IF SHOCK IS TO BE ADMINISTRERED - ENSURE NO ONE IS TOUCHING THE VICTIM TO ENSURE A SECONDARY SHOCK IS NOT GIVEN TO RESCUERS = CLEAR!
      8. continue with AED and CPR use until EMS arrives or responders are not physically capable of continuing (exhaustion). Be prepared to be spelled off on chest compressions after every 3-5 minutes to ensure effective compressions continue.
      9. the use of these devices will be permitted to user groups with the responsibility for providing trained first aiders resting on the user group.
  6. Post Incident Procedures
    After deployment of the Automated External Defibrillators, the Principal shall ensure that:
    1. AED data is downloaded if the device used has this specific capability.
    2. The Division Safety Coordinator is apprised of the event.
    3. Division documentation is completed. (Form 407-1)
    4. OHS reporting is completed as deemed necessary.
    5. WCB reporting is completed as deemed necessary.
    6. The AED is serviced by replacing the batteries and pads.
    7. Referrals to employee support counselling or personal counselling are considered and applied to individuals that are a party to the incident.