Being able to react quickly to a cardiac emergency is critical to everyone and especially to the lifeguards covering our nation’s beaches.
St George’s University has been a wonderful partner to Grenada Lifeguards, ensuring and maintaining an AED at the lifeguard tower on Grand Anse Beach. This is a device that, when properly attached to an individual, can be triggered to restart the heart. In November 2020, the Department of Public Safety at St George’s University donated an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to Grenada Lifeguards for use at the Lifeguard Tower in front of Camerhogne Park.
AEDs can save someone’s life if they have a heart attack (cardiac arrest). The sooner you use a defibrillator, the greater the person’s chances of survival. The AED device uses electricity to restart the heart or shock it back into its correct rhythm. It is used when the heart suddenly stops pumping. The AED has been used several times since its donation in 2020 in emergency situations.
Deb Eastwood, Director of Grenada Lifeguards, stated, “Not only has SGU donated the AED, but they have maintained it on an ongoing basis. It needs to be checked to replace batteries and ensure it is in proper working order after an emergency. This partnership with SGU has been very generous, and we appreciate their support. Just last week, Dan Gough, Director of Emergency Maintenance at SGU, came to the lifeguard tower to re-certify the lifeguards on the use of the unit and CPR. It was a wonderful class, and even though we are already certified through our lifeguard curriculum, we can never get enough training. His class corrected some misconceptions, reinforced critical skills, and gave us new information we did not have in previous years.”
In terms of modern medicine and equipment, the defibrillator is a very costly but a powerful and necessary tool used by doctors, paramedics, and front-line rescuers across the world. The Department of Public Safety at St George’s University looks out for the safety and security needs of the SGU community 24/7, 365 days per year. They are qualified to handle any type of safety and security situation and maintain a close working relationship with other stakeholders like the Royal Grenadian Police Force (RGPF) and National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) to offer support to the Grenadian community. Grenada Lifeguards, run by Deb Eastwood, provides lifeguarding services to the Ministry of Tourism for Grand Anse and Bathway beaches. The Grenada Lifeguards are all Red Cross certified per Ministry standards.
This was a very important thing for Grenada and a big thank you to SGU and I hope it can be extended to other parishes as a small island we need all the help we can get from professional establishment like SGU.