Students Get Shocking Skills With New Life-Saving Defibrillator App

A new life-saving defibrillator app is now at the fingertips of more than 40,000 high school students across Peel Region, reports The Star. Automated external defibrillators or AEDs have been in place for years, but students had virtually no familiarity with the devices. The easy-to-use devices work by detecting cardiac arrhythmias and jolting the heart back into a regular rhythm. The new Mikey Young at Heart app offers video tutorials and quizzes on how to conduct CPR and use an AED to revive people in cardiac arrest.

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“Now, we hope to have hundreds of students walking around and not being afraid of grabbing that machine off the wall,” said Eva Szypulska, president of the Mikey Network, a charity started more than a decade ago to distribute defibrillators across the GTA. The Toronto-based charity has installed more than 270 defibrillators in schools in Toronto, Peel and Halton regions since Salem’s death in 2002.

High school students in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon can now complete the Mikey Young at Heart app’s three “courses” to fulfil up to four and a half hours a year of their 40-hour community-involvement requirement for graduation. “It appeals to the teenagers.

They love apps on their phones. The fact that they can gain volunteer hours makes it even sweeter,” said Clarkson Secondary School principal Jim Kardash. “This is a skill that gives back to the community, and it’s one they’ll have for life. The training wasn’t onerous, but the responsibility is.”

The Mikey Network is now also in talks with the Halton and Toronto school boards about the Mikey Young at Heart app, downloadable on iOS and Android devices.