Defibrillators installed on Northern Health connections buses

Lori Cruddas, Heart and Stroke Foundation Manager for the Prince George office and Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George – Mackenzie watch as Northern Health Connections bus driver Mike Hyland; and Laine Smith, PAD Program Champion, demonstrate the use of an AED.

Potentially lifesaving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been installed on all Northern Health Connections buses.

“The Northern Health Connections health-care travel service is essential for patients in the North to get to and from out-of-town medical appointments and this added safety feature is great news for local residents,” said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “Having an affordable, reliable travel system helps relieve stress for patients, allowing them to focus their energies on their health.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation provided the AEDs through the B.C. Public Access to Defibrillation Program (BC PAD program), a partnership with the B.C. Government and B.C. Emergency Health Services, to place AEDs in public places. AEDs deliver a shock that helps restore normal heart rhythm in people in cardiac arrest, and have been proven to be effective in saving lives if used in a timely manner.

The Northern Health Connections bus service provides an affordable transportation option for northern B.C. residents to reach out-of-town health-care appointments. In addition to the announcement of the AEDs, one coach and two mini coach buses have replaced older vehicles in the fleet as part of a new five-year contract and Northern Health’s commitment to continuous improvement in service and safety. The new coach services the long-haul routes between Vancouver, Prince George and Prince Rupert. The new mini coaches travel to Fort St. John twice a week and service the three-day-a-week route between Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. The new coach bus holds 44 people, while the mini coaches hold 26 people and now include bathrooms.

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