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Paramedic Services Community Programs

 

Halton Region provides community programs for paramedic services. Learn about training videos, the public access defibrillation program, workplace / facility public access defibrillation program and more.

CPR/AED training videos

In this series of videos, Halton Region Paramedic Services provides residents with basic instruction for responding to a cardiovascular emergency including cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. The information contained in these videos boosts and refreshes skills and knowledge gained in a certification level CPR/AED course.

These videos do not replace the need for every resident to take a CPR/AED course from a certified instructor.

This video shows you how to do a quality CPR chest compression. If responders perform these compressions properly, it will help improve patient’s chance of survival.

Quality compressions are:

  • Performed in the centre of the chest between the nipples
  • 2 inches deep
  • Performed at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute

This video provides an overview of how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). These devices can help a patient in cardiac arrest. Once activated, the AED provides clear audio instructions that guide the user through the steps. Early use of an AED is an important step in improving a patient’s chance of survival.

Calling 9-1-1 and preparing for Paramedic Services arrival are important steps. This video looks at how to insure Paramedic dispatchers get the most important information quickly and how to use a strategy called “Meet and Greet” to reduce the time for Paramedics to reach the patient.

Halton Region residents have access to the best available treatment for heart attacks and strokes. The key to achieving good outcomes for these conditions is Early Recognition and Early Treatment. Call 9-1-1 when the signs and symptoms shown in this video are seen. Paramedics will transport the patient to the hospital that is best suited for each situation.

Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program

Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs focus on coordinating the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in strategic locations throughout the community where there is a chance someone could suffer a cardiac arrest. Halton Region’s Paramedic Services helps businesses and municipal partners in Halton Region to implement PAD programs.

PAD programs are important because:

  • Every second counts during a cardiac emergency.
  • They promote the importance of CPR training as well as the Chain of Survival, which impacts the chances of survival for a person suffering a life threatening health emergency.
  • In addition to early first aid and CPR, treating a person suffering from a cardiac arrest with an AED, prior to paramedics arriving, can greatly increase the person’s chances of survival.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED):

  • Is a small portable device that can analyze the electrical activity of a person’s heart to determine if the heart would benefit from applying energy (a "shock")
  • Works by stopping the uncoordinated electrical activity of the heart, giving the heart a chance to re-establish a regular rhythm

This universal logo alerts people that an AED is installed and available within a facility.

Workplace / facility Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program

Halton Paramedic Services will provide assistance and answer questions about developing a PAD program for your workplace or facility. For a nominal yearly fee, Halton Paramedic Services will consult with your organization about implementation and ongoing support for your AED (PAD) program.

Call Halton Paramedic Services at 905-825-6000 to discuss these issues further.

Your workplace or facility might benefit from have a PAD program if it has the following risk factors:

  • A large number of people working / gathering in your facility
  • People engaging in physical activity
  • Delayed access to EMS because of traffic, distance or building size
  • People present in your facility who possess various personal risk factors including:
    • Moderate to high emotional stress
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Inactive lifestyle
    • Personal medical history or family history of heart attack, angina, other heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

Emergency Information Vial program

The Emergency Information Vial program provides paramedics with up to date medical information. Responders can then assess and apply the most appropriate care and drug treatment as quickly as possible to increase the patient’s chances of a more positive outcome.

The program is easy to follow:

  • A clear plastic vial with a white easy snap cap is marked with a fluorescent orange label with the three universal symbols for 911 (Medical, Fire & Police).
  • Complete the Emergency Information form (PDF file).
    Note: Have your doctor, pharmacist, or relative help you complete the form if needed, and make sure it is kept up to date.
  • Place the completed Emergency Information form into the vial and store it in the refrigerator in one of the door shelves.
  • The vial contains two additional fluorescent orange labels: place one on the front door of your house and the other on you refrigerator door.

For a new Emergency Information Vial, please call 311 or visit the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville (external link).

Emergency Information Wallet Cards

As an extension to the vial program, Emergency Information Wallet Cards provide emergency responders with critical medical information when you are not at home. You can also place the wallet cards in clear luggage tags and attach them to:

  • A child’s car seat
  • School backpack
  • Camping gear
  • A lanyard for runners and other sporting events (e.g., hockey, baseball, golf, tennis)

Community Paramedic @Clinic

The Community Paramedic (CP) @Clinic works in partnership with:

  • McMaster University
  • Halton Region Paramedic Services
  • Halton Community Housing Corporation
  • Mississauga Halton LHIN
  • Oakville Seniors

The goal of the program is to:

  • Empower older adults to be proactive in prevention and management of hypertension, diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors
  • Develop the role of paramedics in community health promotion initiatives
  • Increase awareness of cardiovascular health, diabetes risk, falls risk and community resources available
  • Encourage and support healthy lifestyle behaviours
  • Provide accurate blood pressure readings, diabetes risk score and cardiovascular risk information to family physicians (FPs) and encourage dialogue with FPs

The Community Paramedic program is currently offered to residents living in select subsidized seniors’ buildings in communities across Ontario. After implementation over one year in an urban seniors’ building, CP@clinic has proven to be effective in:

  • Decreasing mean blood pressure
  • Changing lifestyle factors and diabetes risk
  • Decreasing 911 calls
  • Potential cost savings in healthcare
  • Long-term health changes

CPR and the Chain of Survival

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency first aid procedure that consists of mouth-to-mouth respirations and chest compressions. CPR allows oxygenated blood to circulate to vital organs, such as the brain and heart. CPR can keep a person alive until more advanced procedures (such as defibrillation) can treat the cardiac arrest. In some instances, particularly when the patient is a child, CPR alone can trigger the return of regular breathing and heartbeats.

An Ontario study looked at 10,000 cardiac arrests and found that CPR initiated by a bystander more than doubled the chance of survival. There are many wonderful stories of local cardiac arrest survivors that are alive today in part because of bystander CPR.

Chain of Survival

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada developed the “Chain of Survival” as a tool for improving cardiac health and improving cardiac emergency outcomes in Canadian communities. Strengthening “the chain” is now recognized worldwide as an effective method for achieving these two goals. Like a true chain, it is most effective when every link is strong. When a person’s breathing or heart stops, seconds count.

Beginning the Chain of Survival is critical to a person’s chances of surviving a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest. The 7 links are:

Cardiovascular health begins with healthy choices including:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Quit smoking
  • Managing weight
  • Managing diabetes
  • Managing alcohol consumption
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Controlling stress

Everyone can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke in both men and women. When you recognize the signs in yourself or another person, call 9-1-1. Doctors say “Time is Tissue.” This means that the sooner we recognize and react, the less heart or brain tissue will be damaged, improving the chance of survival and promoting a faster return to a normal lifestyle.

Calling 9-1-1 from anywhere in southern Ontario will access Paramedic Services. Where possible, use a landline; only use a cell phone when a regular phone is unavailable. Remain calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions to the best of your ability. In a serious health emergency, do not try to drive yourself or another person to hospital.

Learn CPR and maintain your skills through regular refresher training. Rescue breathing and chest compressions circulate oxygenated blood and buy the patient valuable time. Bystander CPR is an important factor in most cardiac arrest “saves.”

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that shocks the heart and allows for the return of a blood pumping heart rhythm. Rapid defibrillation is the single most important factor in surviving a cardiac arrest. For more information on workplace AEDs, see our AED Toolkit (PDF file).

Paramedics and Emergency Room staff use advanced techniques to manage the airway and administer medications. These procedures lessen the amount of tissue damage caused by heart attack and stroke. Halton Region Paramedic Services has Advanced Care Paramedics (ACPs) working in each community on each shift.

After surviving a coronary event, proper care and managed lifestyle modifications can reduce complications, speed recovery and reduce the chance of a second acute episode.

How can you help?

  • Develop and maintain skills in CPR and First Aid. It might save someone you love.
  • Remain calm when calling 911. Use a landline (instead of a cell phone) if one is available.
  • Have someone meet emergency personnel and direct them to the patient, especially for night-time and rural calls.
  • Have the patient’s health card, medical history and medications ready for the paramedics.
  • Ensure that house numbers are highly visible.
  • Ensure easy access for paramedics. Move cars from driveways, move furniture and clear a passage to the patient.
  • When an ambulance with flashing lights approaches, carefully pull your vehicle over to the right and stop. It’s the law.
  • Post your address by the phone in case visitors need it to call for help.
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