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

    Increases Public Health And Safety In Kingston

    KINGSTON, ON, April 27 /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. When defibrillation is used
along with CPR, survival rates can go from five per cent to over 50 per cent
if delivered in the first few minutes," 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 recently been installed in the Ministry
of Transportation building at 1355 John Counter Blvd., Kingston. The Wolfe
Island ferry, operated by the ministry, also carries a defibrillator on board.
There are currently 202 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) installed in
Ontario government buildings.
    "I am pleased to see this life-saving program expanded to include
government buildings in Kingston," said John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal
Affairs and Housing and MPP for Kingston and the Islands. "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 Kingston area."
    "The Heart and Stroke Foundation commends the initiative of the
Government of Ontario to put 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 Kingston area
residents with better health care. The McGuinty government has also come
forward with:

    -   $4.2 million for re-development of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern
        Ontario in Kingston
    -   A new operational MRI machine that will deliver an additional 420
        exams per year
    -   $9.1 million for new, modern medical equipment and $5.6 million to
        reduce wait times for procedures and improve patient care equipment
        at Kingston area hospitals and long-term care facilities.

    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 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


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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