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

    Increases Public Health And Safety In Ottawa

    OTTAWA, March 5 /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."
    Two portable defibrillators have been installed in the provincial
government office building at 10 Rideau St., Ottawa. There are currently 99
defibrillators installed in Ontario government buildings.
    "I am pleased to see this life-saving program expanded to include
government buildings in Ottawa," said Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson,
MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean. "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 Ottawa 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 AEDs in Ontario communities through the Start 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 Ottawa
residents with better health care. The McGuinty government has also come
forward with:

    -   The new Royal Ottawa Hospital, which opened in October 2006
    -   Two new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines for Queensway
        Carleton and Montfort hospitals, providing an additional 8,000 images
        per year
    -   74 new critical care beds for the Ottawa Hospital, part of the
        $140-million critical care wing.

    Disponible en français




    -   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 campaign Start a Heart,
        Save a Life will install defibrillators in community centres, hockey
        arenas and other public gathering places, increasing the number of
        units from 56 to 222.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, Office: (416)
327-3072, Cell: (647) 388-9671; Ciaran Ganley, Ministry of Government
Services, (416) 325-8659

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