Toronto Maple Leafs hockey players are lending their support to Toronto Paramedic Services this month to jointly promote public awareness of the importance of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in response to heart-related emergencies.
The campaign’s video message was launched on the Air Canada Centre video board as part of First Responders Night during the Maple Leafs’ game against the Dallas Stars last night.
“In 2016, bystanders in Toronto saved nine lives by calling 911 for the paramedics, starting CPR and using a public access defibrillator to help to save a person’s life before the paramedics arrived,” said Gayle Pollock of Toronto Paramedic Services’ Safe City program. “That is amazing and we know we can do even better.”
“Every year, Toronto paramedics treat more than 2,500 cardiac-arrest patients. We know more people would be saved if bystanders would step in and start CPR and use an AED to shock the patient, if needed, prior to the paramedics’ arrival,” said Chuck Martin, a paramedic who was recognized as “Community MVP” at last night’s hockey game.
The Safe City program maintains about 1,500 AEDs at community centres, TTC subway stations, pools and rinks across Toronto. Since the program started in 2011, 61 lives have been saved thanks to bystanders taking action, including performing CPR and using AEDs after calling for paramedics.
It is simple to take steps to help a paramedic save a life. A bystander who sees someone unresponsive and not breathing should immediately call 911 for paramedics, then start CPR, pushing hard and fast on the person’s chest until paramedics arrive. Someone else should be summoned, if possible, to bring the closest public access defibrillator so it is available for administering a potentially life-saving shock if needed.
More information, including testimonials from cardiac arrest survivors as well as a list of training courses, is available here.
The campaign video that was shown at last night’s hockey game can be viewed here.