NEW GLASGOW — New equipment will make the New Glasgow Farmers Market safer, market manager Kristi Russell says.
Russell joined others on May 18 to celebrate the arrival of an automated external defibrillator (AED) that will be available at the market at all times.
AEDs are made available to help people intervene immediately during a major heart health event.
“This is a big deal for us,” she said. “I used to be an ambulance dispatcher. We on the Farmers Market board, as well as staff and vendors, have been working to get an AED. We have 1,800 people coming through the market each week … so this may save someone’s life.”
Besides storing the equipment in an accessible place, a number of board members, staff and vendors will be trained how to use it.
“It just gives us an extra way to make this a safe community site,” she said.
Sarah LeBlanc, a vendor who is also president of the market’s board of directors, also welcomed the AED.
“We have a public place,” she said. “We have heavy traffic and so we’ve been working on this for two years now.”
Russell said she learned about the Boyd Foundation and approached Stephen and Debbie about the prospects of securing an AED for the market.
The organization was founded in memory of their son Jordan Boyd, who collapsed and died during a pre-season hockey practise in 2013. He was later diagnosed with an inherited heart condition.
“We picked ourselves up and there were people wanting to do something in Jordan’s memory to raise awareness,” Stephen said.
The results have included the foundation whose value has grown to nearly $200,000 in five years and the Jordan Boyd celebrity hockey tournament that has raised more than $700,000 for the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation.
LeBlanc said it is gratifying to see the Boyds honour their son through the foundation by being present for the delivery of AEDs like the one the market received. “I think it’s great how they’ve channeled their passion.”
Michael Janczyszyn, AED registry co-ordinator for Emergency Health Services (EHS), delivered the equipment and praised the market personnel for wanting to secure one. He orders them once the foundation approves applications like Russell’s.
“They’re great to have in public areas,” he said. “Cardiac arrest can happen at any time to anyone.”
From left: New Glasgow Farmers Market president Sarah LeBlanc, Debbie Boyd and Stephen Boyd on behalf of the Jordan Boyd Foundation, market manager Kristi Russell, AED registry co-ordinator Michael Janczyszyn and market vendor Stella Trefry stand beside a defibrillator for use at the New Glasgow Farmers Market.