Conestoga news

January 28, 2009 12:29 PM

Heart and Stroke Foundation Brings Defibrillators to Waterloo Region


Today, the Heart and Stroke Foundation announced that 24 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are coming to Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and surrounding areas and Conestoga has benefited by having four placed in our facilities.

The AEDs are made possible by an $84,000 gift from Sun Life Financial and the Heart & Stroke Restart a Heart, Restart a Life Campaign. The announcement was made today at Conestoga College, the location for one of the first defibrillators. Conestoga's Doon campus now has a defibrillator at the Recreation Centre, near the Security Office and another near the Bookstore. One will also be placed at its Waterloo campus.

The AEDs will be installed over the next six months in high-traffic public sites selected in conjunction with local Emergency Medical Services. Eight to 10 trained personnel will be available at each location to assist if someone is having a cardiac arrest.

"Public facilities will now be safer places for residents of Waterloo Region to lead more active and healthy lives," says Justin Brown, Director of Major Alliances, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. "With the help of individuals, community groups and corporate sponsors like Sun Life, one day AEDs will become as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario."

"Sun Life Financial is proud to partner with community organizations to be part of the solution when it comes to addressing the needs of our community," says Sandy Delamere, Vice-President, Human Resources, Sun Life Financial Canada. "This donation is a great example of working together towards a common goal that benefits individuals, families and our communities."

Ontario municipal Emergency Medical Services was asked to assess their local needs for defibrillators and apply to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario for funds for AEDs and training. These local applications were reviewed and communities were allocated funds based on criteria including local need, response times, cardiac survival rates and local readiness to support a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program. This expert panel recently identified communities in Ontario to receive AEDs, including Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge.


According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, in Ontario alone, approximately 7,000 cardiac arrests occur each year. The odds of survival for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are approximately five per cent. With each passing minute, the probability of survival declines by 10 per cent.

"The odds of survival following cardiac arrest are almost four times greater if someone performs CPR immediately, and when combined with early defibrillation, AEDs can increase survival rates to 50 per cent or more if delivered in the first few minutes," said John Prno, Director of Emergency Medical Services for the Region of Waterloo. "We are very pleased with the potential of today’s announcement to save lives."

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2008, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of CDN$389 billion.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

For more information on this AED program or to make a donation please contact the Waterloo Region Heart and Stroke Foundation office at 519-571-9600.

For more information, please contact:

Rainer Stadus, HSFO, at 519-745-6277 or


Krista Wilson
Manager, External Communications
Sun Life Financial Canada
(519) 888-3900 x 4896

Original media release by Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, January 16, 2009