McGuinty Government Makes Single Largest Government Investment For Public Access Defibrillators In Canadian History



    Investment In Heart And Stroke Foundation Ontario To Save Lives In
    Ontario

    TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is providing $3 million
to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario for the creation of a 'Thousand
Defibrillators Program' for Ontario's recreational facilities, announced
Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson today along with Kathleen Wynne, MPP for
Don Valley West.
    "This historic investment through the Heart and Stroke Foundation will
provide Ontario's communities with important life-saving assistance," Watson
said. "With access to this life-saving tool, public facilities will be safer
places for Ontarians to gather and be active."
    "Each year, approximately 6,500 people in Ontario suffer from a cardiac
arrest outside hospitals," said Rocco Rossi, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation
of Ontario. "Using an automated external defibrillator combined with CPR
within the first few minutes can improve survival rates from five percent to
50 per cent or more."
    "Both the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the McGuinty
government are committed to ensuring that more is done to protect Ontarians
from serious injury or death," said Wynne. "This historic investment will
allow us to do just that."
    Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer and Walter Gretzky were also on
hand to congratulate the McGuinty government and encouraged business and
individuals to do their part in making more automated external defibrillator
available in their communities.
    The Ministry of Health Promotion was established to improve and deliver
programs that contribute to healthy living and wellness in this province. Key
priorities include Ontario's Smoke-Free Strategy, healthy eating, active
living, sport and recreation, injury prevention and mental health promotion.

    
                              www.mhp.gov.on.ca
    

    Backgrounder
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                           Appendix: Endorsements

    1.  Larry Ketcheson, CEO, Parks and Recreation Ontario

    "Parks and Recreation Ontario is dedicated to helping people live healthy
    lifestyles and enhancing the quality of life for the people of Ontario.
    Today's remarkable announcement means that we can enhance the capacity of
    our communities to provide safe, quality environments for healthier
    lifestyles because of improved access to life-saving equipment, should
    the need arise."

    2.  Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of
        Ontario

    "Municipal recreation infrastructure and programs are cornerstones of a
    healthier Ontario. Today's announcement of funding for defibrillators in
    community centers and arenas is an important investment in healthier
    communities."

    3.  Dr. David Bach, President of the Ontario Medical Association

    "Doctors support the government's efforts to improve the rate of survival
    of patients suffering a cardiac arrest or heart attack in Ontario. A
    comprehensive program that will ensure the defibrillators are available
    where needed, and are used safely makes a lot of sense."

    4.  Hugh Heron, the Mikey Network

    "I am delighted to support Premier McGuinty's recognition of the
    importance of defibrillators in public places across the province,
    particularly recreational facilities. The Mikey Network will continue to
    work with Health Promotion Minister Watson and the provincial government
    and its objective for a heart healthy Ontario."

    5.  Tracey Braun, Canadian Red Cross, Ontario Zone

    "As a leader in first aid training world-wide, the Red Cross has added
    AED training to its first aid courses and fully recognizes the importance
    of AED access to improve the rate of survival for a person suffering
    cardiac arrest. The Canadian Red Cross commends the Ministry of Health
    Promotion for providing funding to increase AED access and training in
    Ontario."

    6.  Perry Smith, Program Director, The Lifesaving Society

    "The Lifesaving Society strongly supports the increase in the number of
    defibrillators in community recreation centres across Ontario announced
    by the Ontario Government. The research is clear", says Society.
    "Defibrillators save lives - but they need to be readily available when
    the emergency happens. Every minute counts."

    Disponible en français

                              www.mhp.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/smokefree
    





For further information:

For further information: Adam Grachnik, Minister's Office, (416)
326-8497; Julie Rosenberg, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4806

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF HEALTH PROMOTION

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