No more defibrillators in sight in downtown Charlevoix

Hopefully most of us won’t have to use an AED.

An AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is used to help people with sudden cardiac arrest. It is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use medical device that can analyze the heartbeat and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart return to an efficient rhythm, according to the American Red Cross.

It is normally affixed to a wall in a public place. Among the properties in the city of Charlevoix, there is one at the town hall and another at the town’s marina.

AEDs are important because they strengthen the “chain of survival”. They can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest. New portable AEDs allow more people to respond to a medical emergency requiring defibrillation.

At a recent meeting of business owners, the topic of AEDs was brought up and downtown leaders were asked to consider adding more to the business district so that they could be easier to find in an emergency.

Lindsey Dotson, director of the Main Street / Downtown Development Authority, checked with the local EMS service and got an estimate of around $ 600 per unit.

The initial discussion envisioned the placement of one unit per downtown block. There is already one at the town hall and one at the Harbor Master Building at the marina.

Dotson is also working with Charlevoix EMS to schedule a CPR certification course to which business owners would be invited.

Charlevoix EMS Director Don McMullen said: “This is an excellent initiative and it can improve the survival of victims (tourists, residents, traders, etc.) in the event of cardiac arrest.

“Minutes count,” McMullen said. “Making AEDs accessible downtown is an excellent initiative. ”

Each AED unit costs around $ 600. If grant funding can’t be aligned, the Downtown Development Authority has about $ 2,000 it could allocate to the project, according to Kirby Dipert, a member of the DDA board.

Additionally, Paul Silva, owner of the Earl Hotel, has volunteered to set up a unit in the lobby of this property, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.