To increase access to life-saving AEDs (automated external defibrillators), Peel Regional Paramedic Services has launched a 5-year pilot project, in partnership with Sunnybrook Hospital, which sends citizens to help cardiac arrest patients in the minutes before paramedics arrive.
The Volunteer Community Responder pilot project uses a mobile app. to alert volunteers when a cardiac arrest is taking place nearby. If a volunteer is free to help, they may be able to start chest compressions or use an AED in the crucial minutes before paramedics arrive. All volunteers are trained in CPR and AED-use. Some are provided with an AED. All volunteers carry ID.
“We want residents to know that if they call 911 for a life-threatening emergency, the first person to show up may actually be their neighbour or someone passing by,” says Paramedic Chief Peter Dundas. “By connecting people willing to help with people who need help, we’re interested to see if we can make Peel a safer and healthier place to live.”
When someone in cardiac arrest gets early CPR and defibrillation, their chance of survival can increase by up to 70%.
Peel Regional Paramedic Services is looking for more people to join the 78 volunteers participating in the pilot project. Anyone 18 years and older who is currently certified in First Aid and CPR can apply by visiting https://www.peelregion.ca/health/volunteer/how-volunteers-help.asp#vprps.
For more information about the Volunteer Community Responder pilot project, visit https://www.peelregion.ca/paramedics/programs/volunteer-community-responder.asp.
Peel Regional Paramedics Services responds to more than 140, 000 emergency medical calls per year. For more information about Peel Regional Paramedic Services, visit https://peelregion.ca/paramedics/.
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