Life-Saving Heart Defibrillators To Be Installed In Ontario Government Buildings



    Increases Public Health And Safety In Guelph

    GUELPH, ON, March 16 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is moving forward
with its commitment to improve health and safety in provincial buildings by
installing life-saving portable heart defibrillators.
    "Portable heart defibrillators save lives. It's a fact that cardiac
arrest victims who have access to portable heart defibrillators increase their
chances of survival by up to 50 per cent," Minister of Government Services
Gerry Phillips said. "Already two lives have been saved - one member of the
public and one government employee. That's why we will install 250 of these
devices in close to 100 provincial government buildings around the province."
    Three portable defibrillators will soon be installed in the Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs headquarters at 1 Stone Rd. W., Guelph.
There are currently 109 defibrillators installed in Ontario government
buildings.
    "I am pleased to see this life-saving program expanded to include
government buildings in Guelph," said Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph-Wellington.
"Sixteen to 20 per cent of cardiac arrests occur in public places, so putting
defibrillators in provincial buildings will have a significant positive impact
on the health of people in the Guelph area."
    "The Heart and Stroke Foundation commends the initiative of the
Government of Ontario to put automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in
government facilities and train its employees to save lives," said Rocco
Rossi, Chief Executive Officer of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
    "The foundation is also continuing its leadership role by raising funds
to place 1,000 AEDs in Ontario communities through the Restart a Heart, Save a
Life Campaign and the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund. We believe that
defibrillators should become as common as fire extinguishers because they are
just as powerful in the fight to save lives," Rossi said.

    
    Today's announcement is another step forward to providing Guelph area
residents with better health care. The McGuinty government has also come
forward with:

    -   $3.15 million in capital and operating funding to provide emergency
        psychiatric assessments for patients in Guelph General Hospital's
        emergency department

    -   A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine for Guelph General
        Hospital

    -   An investment of $1.5 million to support expanded services at the
        Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

    Disponible en français

                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca



    Backgrounder
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           PORTABLE DEFIBRILLATORS IN ONTARIO GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS

    -   The government has committed to installing 250 defibrillators in
        provincial government-occupied buildings across the province

    -   The portable defibrillator program has already saved two lives in
        government offices in Toronto

    -   Locations are being finalized and include sites in Kingston,
        Hamilton, North Bay, Oshawa, Smiths Falls, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and
        many others

    -   Guidelines for defibrillator use and installation have been developed
        for Ontario government ministries. Ontario Public Service staff will
        be given expert lead training on the use of the units

    -   Defibrillators save lives and are safe to use. They are very accurate
        in determining which heart rhythms should be shocked and it is
        virtually impossible to deliver a shock inappropriately to victims of
        cardiac arrest

    -   Defibrillators are already installed in many public and private
        venues, including Toronto City Hall, the Air Canada Centre, the
        Rogers Centre, the Toronto Zoo, Ford Canada, GM Canada, Cadillac
        Fairview, Woodbine Racetrack and Pearson International Airport

    -   The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) has established the
        Restart a Heart, Save a Life Campaign and the Chase McEachern Tribute
        Fund to help raise funds and awareness for AEDs. Some key highlights
        of the campaign and fund to date:

        -  HSFO donated $175,000 to the City of Toronto to support training
           for 166 AEDs, quadrupling the number of AEDs available in public
           places to save lives in the city of Toronto

        -  Through the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund, donated $100,000 to the
           Counties of Grey and Bruce for the purchase and associated
           training of 22 defibrillators

        -  Through the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund, donated 18 AEDs to the
           County of Simcoe

        -  Announced a donation of $99,000 for the City of Brantford ($50,000
           coming from the Gretzky Foundation, $49,000 from the Chase
           McEachern Tribute Fund).

    -   On December 12, 2006, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
        introduced Bill 171, the Chase McEachern Act (Heart Defibrillator
        Civil Liability) 2006. The bill would, if passed, promote the use of
        external heart defibrillators by ensuring that users of the devices
        and owners and operators of premises on which they are installed are
        protected from civil liability.

    Disponible en français

                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, (416)
327-3072; Ciaran Ganley, Ministry of Government Services, (416) 325-8659

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