AED on Bowen Island

Amanda Ockeloen and Bawn Campbell
Tom Smith introduced Amanda and Bawn who joined forces to create an extensive network of Automated External Defibrillators (AED's) on Bowen Island. Bawn Campbell has traveled throughout the world in the computer industry from London to Vancouver and other spots in BC before finally settling on Bowen Island. Amanda Okeleon is a long-time resident of the area who has been involved as a paramedic, first responder and Red Cross instructor.
Bawn and Amanda told the story of how the 26 AED's were introduced to the Island. The idea came about with a local story of a diabetic victim having to wait 45" for an ambulance after the original arrival of the local fire truck. This made them aware that resources would have to be provided to help people in medical distress. An AED would come to the assistance of individuals experiencing sudden heart failure by providing an electric shock to restore the body to its natural rhythm.
Through Bawn's initiative the Rotary club facilitated the financing, promotion and installation of the original units . Beginning with a community grant and meeting the concerns of the municipality over their effectiveness they started with their first purchase and installation that was encased in an attractive 'birdhouse". More were added over time with now having 26 of these scattered in the area and still growing. In tandem with the growth of the devices Amanda set up a series of training sessions in the neighborhoods. Now the entire Island is mapped out so that AED's can be located through an app that is also connected to the BC Ambulance service and other health agencies such as PAD.
There are numerous benefits to the programme. Beside providing the actual service the AED's are a focus of Rotary's impact on its community. Entire neighbourhoods have been brought together to both introduce the AED's and becoming involved in the training sessions. Of course, the health of the community and the security experienced by its citizens is paramount. The fascinating presentation was detailed and did not offer time for questions. Richard Steward thanked Bawn and Amanda for their presentation and congratulated them on their initiative in introducing these much needed health devices into their Island community.