Learning how to use an AED from those with disabilities

SINGAPORE - Mr Palanisamy Avaday has polio and uses a wheelchair to get around but his disability did not stop him from learning how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to save lives.

Now, he is keen to train even other able-bodied people to use them.

Mr Palanisamy, 65, is a senior operations executive with voluntary welfare organisation Bizlink, which launched its AED provision service on Wednesday to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which falls on Dec 3.

Any member of the public who is keen to learn how to use an AED or who needs to use one in an emergency can approach Bizlink which is now listed under the Singapore Civil Defence Force's AED registry.

AEDs work by sending an electric shock to the heart in order to revive it in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

The service was launched by Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs and Mayor of South East District, Dr Maliki Osman, on Wednesday. Bizlink, which is at the Bedok Industrial Estate at Chai Chee Lane,decided to take the initiative to get the equipment because there is none in the vicinity. It intends to get more of its staff trained in it so that other tenants in the estate or people in the neighbourhood can learn to use it as well.

Said Dr Maliki: "Being disabled does not mean unable. Through the lenses of abled bodied persons, we think little of what the disabled can do for the community. But being disabled did not prevent Mr Palanisamy from contributing back to the community where he works."