Home defibrillator eases worry over 911 rural response times

A P.E.I. man has purchased a defibrillator for heart attacks because he is concerned about 911 response times in the rural area where he lives.

Chris Robinson bought $1K unit on eBay to 'manage the risk' at his Cavendish home

Chris Robinson bought a defibrillator for his Cavendish home because he is concerned about 911 rural response times. 1:59

A P.E.I. man has purchased a defibrillator for heart attacks because he is concerned about 911 response times in the rural area where he lives.

Chris Robinson bought the device for his home in Cavendish.

"We're trying to manage the risk," said Robinson.

"You know, we want to trust the system to be there when we need it, but on the other hand we have to take adequate precautions."

Bad driving conditions this winter have confirmed for Robinson that the $1,000 he spent to purchase the unit on eBay was worth the investment.

Robinson's health is fine. He's a retired health economist and is wife is a registered nurse.

But with aged parents — and long, snowy highways between him and help — he figures why not.

Chris Robinson bought this defibrillator unit on eBay. (CBC)
"So it's about the price of a new fridge," said Robinson.

"Some people would question, 'Well, is that really affordable?' As a health economist, I say, well can you afford not to have one, particularly if you live in a relatively remote area?"

Robinson says, as the number of defibrillators increases, he wonders if it isn't time to create some sort of co-ordinated registry of where they're located.

He wants his defibrillator to become a community resource and a sign in the front window of his home tells people it's there.

Defibrilators are now in all ambulances, some fire halls, hockey rinks and other locations.

However, when contacted by CBC News, Health PEI did not have a comprehensive list of locations.

David Blacquiere, Rustico fire chief, sees merit in making the public more aware of where these life-savers can be found.

"We're 35 minutes from Island EMS out here. So is it such a bad thing for people to be aware of where they are? Not such a bad thing at all."

But Blacquire also advises people learn first aid and CPR and call 911 before all else in an emergency.

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