Photo Caption: Trevor Lewis, the owner of Village Variety & Gas Bar, along with other business owners in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, was offered the chance to be a part of the Public Access Defibrillator program that aims to install state-of-the-art equipment at sites around the territory. PHOTO BY JAN MURPHY Local Journalism Initiative reporter
Source: The Intelligencer
TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY — When PUSH for Life and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Community Health announced a partnership that would see Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory take steps to become Canada’s first Heart Safe Community, organizers knew they’d need to help and support of businesses in the community to make it happen.
Among the first business owners to step up was Trevor Lewis, the owner of Village Variety & Gas Bar, nestled along Highway 2 near Shannonville.
Lewis, along with other business owners in the territory, was offered the chance to be a part of the Public Access Defibrillator program that aims to install state-of-the-art equipment at sites around the territory.
Lewis, 56, didn’t have to be asked twice, he said in an interview inside his office, noting that he had both professional and personal reasons for wanting to be a part.
“Being a business in the community, I rely on the community for customers, for workers,” the former MBQ councillor said. “My business has a good location, so therefore I get a lot of support. If I didn’t have that support, I wouldn’t have a successful business. … With any kind of initiatives or sports teams or kids who need something, I try to support them because I know they’re supporting me. That’s the basic aspect of how I sort of operate.”
The importance of life-saving measures also holds special meaning for Lewis.
“Both of my sons are currently first responders with the Mohawk Fire and Rescue department and my wife is retired as a first responder with the Mohawk fire department, so I know first-hand how important first responders are, how the fire department is needed and subsequently these devices as part of that,” Lewis said.
“We have living proof in our community of someone who is still here because of one. We hear stories all the time about how they’ve saved lives, so to me it’s just kind of a no-brainer that I would support this.”
In March, officials from PUSH for Life and MBQ Community Health announced the partnership, with plans to install the SaveStation units across the territory after approaching businesses. The stations have been rolling out in the months since.
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