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Defibrillator used to revive Altona Police sergeant

Greg Vandermeulen

Sgt. Perry Batchelor is recovering from heart surgery in hospital after suffering from a heart attack on the ice surface while reffing the final game of a local PeeWee hockey tournament on Nov. 29. The Altona police officer was revived on the ice by members of the crowd, who used the AED (automatic external defibrillator), brought into the arena by Batchelor, just over a year ago.

The game was in the last 10 minutes of the tournament final when witnesses say Batchelor reached down for the puck during a stoppage of play and collapsed.

The witness said 911 was called and several nurses, and an RCMP officer in the crowd were among those who sprang into action in front of the shocked crowd.

They grabbed the defibrillator from its place in the Sunflower Gardens lobby, and used it along with CPR for what witnesses say was 15 minutes until paramedics arrived. He was taken to the Health Sciences Centre and went into surgery two days later.

The hockey game was never completed. Instead players and parents crowded the locker room using the time to talk about what had happened.

The defibrillator used to save Perry Batchelor's life was acquired by the Millennium Exhibition Centre, thanks to the hard work of Batchelor himself. He secured the funding for the $2,500 AED (automatic external defibrillator) only 14 months previous while playing for the Altona Maroons Oldtimers.

Recreation services manager Ron Epp said the reason that device was there, was Perry Batchelor.

"He was the driving force behind getting it in," Epp said.

In October of 2008, Batchelor said the device could save anyone's life. "This could happen to anyone at any age," he said at that time.

This was the first time the device was used. CPR combined with defibrillation within three minutes can save 30 to 74 per cent of people who have cardiac arrest.

AED's are becoming more common in recreational facilities across Canada, and have been credited with saving dozens of lives.