A North Glengarry man has been given a second chance at life thanks to the help of an off-duty volunteer firefighter and a nearby defibrillator.
On June 13 at 6:15 p.m. a man in his late 50s was exercising on an outdoor pathway located in Island Park in Alexandria, when he suddenly collapsed outside a municipal building.
Bystanders, including an off-duty volunteer firefighter, immediately started CPR, called 911 and a Township of North Glengarry staff member retrieved the defibrillator from the Island Park Community Centre. The bystanders successfully used the defibrillator before paramedics from Cornwall SD&G Emergency Medical Services arrived and continued with patient care. The gentleman was responsive prior to transport to hospital.
"When individuals in the community take action, perform CPR, and use (a defibrillator) when it is within reach lives can be saved," said Andrew Lotto, manager of resuscitation programs with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. "With continued support of the public, community groups and funding partners one day defibrillators will become as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario."
The placement of the defibrillator at the Island Park Community Centre and training of staff was made possible by The Cowan Foundation, the former Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Restart a Heart, Restart a Life Program, the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund and Cornwall SD&G Emergency Medical Services.
Thanks to its partners, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has been able to allocate close to 4,000 AED units in communities across the province to date.
"It takes a concerned community to help save a life and this is another example. Without the help of bystanders, Township of North Glengarry staff, paramedics and the public access defibrillator program, the outcome could have been very different", said Bradley Nuttley, Emergency Management and Community Safety Coordinator from Cornwall SD&G Emergency Medical Services.