Toronto paramedics raise awareness of importance of bystander role in performing emergency CPR

Paramedics and members of the Toronto Paramedic Services' Safe City team demonstrated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to members of the public and City staff members today at Toronto City Hall. The event was part of Toronto Paramedic Services' 2016 Heart Month activities.Toronto Paramedic Services' Safe City Program started in 1998. It was established to provide instruction to Torontonians because 16 to 20 per cent of the 2,000 cardiac arrests that Toronto paramedics respond to annually happen in a public place. The faster a bystander can start CPR and administer a shock from an AED, the greater a patient's chances of survival. Records indicate that for each minute that passes without CPR, the chance of surviving cardiac arrest declines by seven to 10 per cent.The number of bystander resuscitations has increased in recent years, with 16 documented in 2015. Toronto Paramedic Services' Safe City Program trains more than 13,000 people a year in first aid, CPR and AED/defibrillator use. Members of the public can register for a Safe City course at

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