Nanaimo Search and Rescue saves man who suffered cardiac arrest after Halloween event

Nanaimo Search and Rescue saves man who suffered cardiac arrest after Halloween event

Nanaimo Search and Rescue (SAR) said they’re thrilled to have been at the right place at the right time when they received an unexpected call for help on Sunday while attending the Westwood Lake Witch Paddle event.

The organization volunteered to help support the Halloween celebration, hosted by the VIU Students Union, and as the event was wrapping up and members of the group were putting away their gear, someone had approached them calling on them to save a man who suffered a cardiac arrest.

“We had a member of the public run up to us and let us know that somebody was in cardiac arrest about 200 meters up the trail,” said Eugene Touchette, a search manager with Nanaimo Search and Rescue.

One member grabbed the automated external defibrillator (AED) from their truck and ran down the trail with a couple of other members following.

They reached the man within five minutes of him collapsing and found that he had no pulse. They, along with a nurse practitioner, used the AED to revive him.

“It was amazing. This is what we train for. We train on our AED regularly and it was the first time for Nanaimo Search and Rescue that we were actually able to bring someone back to life with the AED which was great. It makes all our training worthwhile,” said Touchette.

The Port of Nanaimo donated money to Nanaimo Search and Rescue to buy its first AED four years ago, which was the one that used to save the man on Sunday.

Now all the Nanaimo SAR trucks are equipped with AEDs.

The organization said AEDs are user-friendly and urges anyone to use them in an emergency as they could save someone’s life.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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