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Civic Impact

Toronto paramedics partner with Toronto FC

The Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Safe City Program recently teamed up with players from the Toronto Football Club (FC) to produce an instructional video on the importance of bystander action during cardiac arrest. 
The video is under a minute long, but the message is clear: "It's easy to help a paramedic save a life."

"Bystanders are the start of the chain of survival [during cardiac arrest]," says Gayle Pollock, Commander of Toronto Emergency Service Cardiac Safe City Program. "And just by taking action it's easy to save a life."
This year alone, nine lives were saved by Toronto residents who stepped in to help someone suffering cardiac arrest. 
That’s why, says Pollock, it's so important to educate others about the important role they can play, "we want people to feel like an extension of our paramedics."
So, what should a bystander do?

First, of course, is call 9-1-1. Next, explains Pollock, check to see if the person is unconscious or not breathing and, if so, start CPR or use an automated external defibrillator (AED) (available at all City of Toronto institutions) and if you're properly tained, start mouth-to-mouth. 
"When you call 9-1-1 the call receiver on the phone will walk you through CPR or using the AED. And, in fact, AEDs also walk you through the process when you turn them on," says Pollock. "It doesn't take a lot of time or a lot of skill for you to help a paramedic save a life. This is not just made up or exaggerated, there is so much evidence--the sooner that CPR is started, the better the outcome of survival for that individual."
According to Toronto EMS statistics, the chances of survival for those suffering cardiac arrest are 75 per cent better if a bystander calls 9-1-1 and starts CPR right away.
"We really want people to know how easy this is, and working with the Toronto FC is helping us to get this message out."
Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Gayle Pollock, Commander, Toronto’s EMS Cardiac Safe City Program 

Toronto ambulance photo by AshtonPal.
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