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Keanan Helps unveils first publicly accessible outdoor defibrillator in New Tec

July 26, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

The official unveiling of the first publicly accessible outdoor defibrillator unit in New Tecumseth took place at the Alliston EarlyON Centre, located at 13 Wellington Street West in Alliston, last Thursday.

Family, friends, dignitaries and special guests were on hand for the unveiling, where it was announced that a second defibrillator unit will be coming soon.

The defibrillator was donated by the Chase McEachern Memorial Fund and can be used for children and adults. It is located in a secure Save Station temperature-regulated outdoor cabinet purchased through fundraising efforts and donations received at the 7th Annual Keanan’s Family Walk held on March 30, 2019, as organized by Kevin and Cheryl Boston, parents of Keanan Allin Boston. It is located in downtown Alliston near businesses and residential housing.

“All of us at EarlyON Child and Family Centre are proud and honoured to work with Cheryl and Kevin Boston.  Over the years their fundraising efforts have made a huge difference to the centre,” said Janet Humphrey, Manager Alliston EarlyON Child and Family Centre. “We are thrilled that this year the project chosen will benefit the entire community.  Our central location in Alliston will make the AED available to so many people.”

The outdoor cabinet has regulated heating and ventilation, audible alarm, photo control, lighting, real-time reporting, back-up power, and LED screen indicating cabinet status. 

The unit also has remote monitoring so registered people assigned to the unit can receive a text message to notify them when the unit has been activated.

According to Action First Aid, there is over a 75 per cent survival rate when an AED is used within the first 10 minutes on a cardiac arrest victim. Quite often, AED Units are located inside a building and not accessible to the public when the building is closed. 

“It is a fact that AED Units save lives when seconds matter. When the staff at the Alliston EarlyON Centre raised the idea to purchase the first publicly accessible outdoor unit in the community, we quickly agreed that this project would be our fundraising goal for this year,” said Cheryl Boston.

Town of New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne (who also has a background on paramedics) was on site for the unveiling.

“Education. Education. Education,” said Milne on the importance of knowing where AED units are located and how to use them. Time matters when saving lives. “It is great to see this AED unit in place outside, and although it took a very sad thing to happen [to Keanan], I am sure he is looking down on us right now.”

Due to the overwhelming success of Keanan’s Family Walk, Keanan’s parents proudly announced a second Defibrillator unit will be purchased with the extra funds raised. The Boston Family has been working closely with the Town of New Tecumseth to locate a suitable place to install the second unit in Tottenham at a later date.

Keanan’s Family Walk commemorates Keanan Allin Boston, a 21-month old Loretto boy who passed away in 2013. Keanan’s heart, liver and kidneys were donated and saved three lives through his Gift of Life. The Walk is a public event to remember Keanan and help support causes near to the family: Alliston EarlyON Child and Family Centre, SickKids and organ donation awareness.

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