Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Oxford County Public Health and Emergency Services
Oxford County’s Defibrillator Program Saves a Life
Mary Ellen Greb is extremely grateful to a few residents, Oxford County EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Paramedics, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation for their partnership in a program that saved her life this past summer.
Three residents were honored at a special recognition ceremony held in Mount Elgin on Monday evening. Dawne Fewster, Dave Lucas and Marg Green, all from Mount Elgin, each received a special certificate from Oxford EMS to thank them for their efforts to help Mary Ellen.
Mary Ellen had been attending a meeting at the Mount Elgin Community Centre in Oxford County, when her heart rhythm was interrupted causing it to stop. Mary Ellen collapsed without vital signs and was in critical condition. Bystanders reacted quickly, calling 911, starting CPR and applying the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that was hanging on the wall in the Community Centre. The immediate response by the bystanders saved Mary Ellen’s life.
The AED at the Mount Elgin Community Centre, one of 77 units currently in place in Oxford County, was installed in 2008. The placement of the AED and training of staff was made possible by The Cowan Foundation, the former Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Restart a Heart, a LifeTM Program, the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund and Oxford County EMS.
“I am so grateful for the quick thinking of my friends at the meeting and am thankful that there was a defibrillator on site. Everything worked in my favour that evening – those who knew CPR, the placement of the AED and the quick response of Paramedics.”
- Mary Ellen Greb
“A cardiac event can happen to anyone and the best chance of survival includes making the initial call to 9-1-1, starting CPR and shocking the heart immediately. We are fortunate to have AEDs across Oxford County and very proud of those individuals who take immediate action. Without which, Mary Ellen’s story may have been very different.”
- Joe Pember, Manager, Oxford County Emergency Services
“The statistics tell a compelling story. CPR and AEDs absolutely save lives, and Ontarians can help us to save more lives by using these simple and effective tools to combat cardiac arrest. With continued support of the public, community groups and funding partners one day AEDs will be as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario."
- Andrew Lotto, Manager, Resuscitation Programs, Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Research shows that up to 85% of cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places and almost half are witnessed by a family member or friend. In Ontario alone, approximately 7,000 cardiac arrests occur every year.
- The survival rate of victims for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is less than five per cent. However, the use of an AED with CPR before the arrival of Emergency Medical Services can increase the chance of survival to up to 75 per cent.
- Heart and Stroke Foundation in partnership with Oxford County EMS have placed 77 AEDs in public spaces within Oxford County. Local Paramedics have trained more than 500 people in CPR and defibrillation since the program began.
- The Heart and Stroke Foundation has deployed more than 3,000 AED units in communities across the province, saving 40 lives to date.
Oxford County EMS has been installing public access defibrillators and training members of the public in CPR and the use of an AED since 2007.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation facilitates the deployment of AEDs in public spaces by advocating and supporting the establishment of community Public Access Defibrillator programs through the Restart a Heart, a Life ProgramTM and the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund. The Heart and Stroke Foundation works with local EMS to facilitate the placement of AEDs in local facilities such as arenas, recreation centers and other public venues along with training personnel for each location.
519 539-9800 ext 350