In 2010, Durham Radio Inc. deepened its commitment to the communities it serves by joining The Mikey Network’s Mikey On Board program in a Canadian first for a radio station chain – the installation of public access defibrillators called MIKEYs in the station’s events cruisers which are on the road every week, covering hundreds of local events each year.
Working with Emergency Medical Services, the drivers are trained to use the life-saving machines, which are now available to thousands more people than ever before. Said Erin Clifford, KX94.7 Promotions Director, “Kim, a former WAVE Event Coordinator was certainly trained and Mikey ready. While driving home from an event in Toronto on the 403, she witnessed an accident. Vehicles stopped, but while most people just watched, Kim grabbed the Mikey in the WAVE cruiser and ran to the scene to lend a hand. While her help wasn’t needed, Kim and Mikey were spot on.”
“We were proud to be the first radio company to the table with this program,” says Steve Kassay, VP, Programming/Operations for Durham Radio, which includes KX96 New Country FM; CKDO Durham’s Classic Hits 107.7FM and 1580AM, 94.9 The Rock, KX94.7 New Country FM, wave.fm, and durhamradionews.com. There are three active cruisers and three trained responders on the road in Durham and the GTA serving KX96 FM, CKDO and The Rock. In Hamilton, there are two cruisers serving WAVE and the new KX94.7, with four trained drivers. The branded cruisers are present at around 1,000 events each year in Durham Region, and 700 in Hamilton.
“You’ll see them at ribfests, fairs, festivals and the like,” Kassay adds. “For Durham Radio, it’s a no-brainer. We’re out and about, so it’s a natural fit to carry the MIKEYS and be on the scene to help save lives when we can. We are diligent about this initiative; it has become part of our corporate culture.”
“When we attend community events where Emergency Medical Services is on location, we get asked about our Mikey, and praised for being so community health-conscious. We have been approached by St. John’s Ambulance staff, firefighters from multiple towns as well as festival organizers who are thrilled that we have a Mikey on board,” added Clifford.
Although none of the MIKEYS in the cruisers has been needed, since The Mikey Network was founded in 2003, the organization has saved 14 lives, placed 1,300 units, and trained over11,000 people in CPR/AED.
“These 14 people who were Mikey-eed, got a second chance at life,” Kassay adds. “We hope the units on our cruisers never have to be put to the test, but our communities are safer places for their presence. They’re available to anyone. If you need help and you see our cruiser, just ask; there’s a MIKEY and a trained attendant right there.
I encourage other radio stations and media outlets, particularly with rolling stock, to get on board and join us in this effort. The more MIKEYs out there, the greater the chances that we’ll be of help when someone’s heart skips a beat.”