News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 3, 2014


Manitobans living in 30 northern First Nation communities now have life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be installed in public places by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Health Minister Erin Selby and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced today. 

“AEDs are a critical resource for every community and a long-term investment in health and wellness,” said Minister Selby.  “Following a cardiac arrest, we know every minute counts.  These new defibrillators ensure more Manitobans have access to immediate intervention.”

MKO received 73 new AEDs from the province and will install them in 30 communities across northern Manitoba.  

“These life-saving medical devices are a direct result of MKO, the province, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba and Health Canada coming together to proactively improve health services in our communities,” said MKO Grand Chief David Harper.  “Moving forward, we are able to save lives where historically no life-saving devices existed, ensuring that our loved ones are afforded equal access to life-saving medical devices.”

Manitoba was the first province in the country to develop legislation requiring publicplaces to have AEDs available on-site including gyms, indoor arenas, certain community centres, golf courses, schools and airports. 

“Heart health and cardiac disease are important issues for all Manitobans including First Nations people and we appreciate MKO’s leadership in this area,” said Minister Robinson.  “I look forward to seeing the distinctive AED signage in community places across northern Manitoba.”

Last year, the province provided $1.3 million to purchase and distribute 1,000 AEDs to non-profit and community-owned facilities through the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba including those provided to MKO. 

“The placement of AEDs in Manitoba’s northern communities is a great step toward creating a
heart-safe environment and we fully support and thank the Manitoba government for providing funds for this important public safety initiative,” said Debbie Brown, chief executive officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.  “Far too many Manitobans die each year from sudden cardiac arrest and immediate access to defibrillation means more lives can be saved in the province.”

There are currently 2,875 AEDs registered in public places across Manitoba.

Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to restart a stopped heart and are programmed to detect if a person is having an irregular heart rhythm that indicates potential cardiac arrest.  AEDs offer
step-by-step instructions so training is not required.  A full list of designated public places required to have a defibrillator on-site, as well as information about the types of defibrillators that are acceptable and how they must be installed and registered is available at

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