Manitoba

Winnipeg's Bear Clan will soon be carrying a defibrillator

The Bear Clan will soon be patrolling Winnipeg streets with a new life saving device.

The Paramedics Association of Manitoba are equipping the Bear Clan with a defibrillator

Bear Clan Patrol volunteers in Winnipeg's North End in November. The Bear Clan will soon have a defibrillator to take along on patrol. (The Canadian Press)

The Bear Clan will soon be patrolling Winnipeg streets with a new life saving device.

The Paramedics Association of Manitoba will be presenting the Bear Clan with an automated external defibrillator (AED) Friday.

"We're very excited," Bear Clan founder James Favel told CBC News. "We hope never to have to use it quite frankly but should the occasion arise we are going to be prepared."

Earlier this week, paramedics joined forces with members of the Bear Clan Patrol to teach them first aid and how to use an AED.  

At the session, one patrol shared a situation he ran into a few years ago where he needed the device, Favel said. 

Favel said a man was found unresponsive and the member ran to a nearby business to get a defibrillator but they wouldn't allow it to be taken off of the premises because of the cost of the device.

After learning this Winnipeg paramedics were going to raise money to purchase the device, Favel said.

When Dwayne Forseman with the Paramedics Association of Canada got wind of this he reached out to its supplier ZOLL Canada, they decided to donate the device instead. 

Forseman said the Bear Clan does important work and being able to provide first-aid and defibrillation saves more lives than people waiting for an ambulance.

"If we can have people that are on scene within moments with this kind of device they're going to make a difference," Forseman said.

Favel said he's grateful for device and the support.

"A number of our members now are trained with first aid and that's fantastic. We have 67 of our people trained to use naloxone and now we have access to a defibrillator of our own," Favel said. "We're really turning into the lifesavers out there and that's huge."

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