Corp Comm Connects

Peel pilot project sending civilians to cardiac arrest patients before paramedics arrive
June 30, 2022

If you go into cardiac arrest in Peel, it might not be a paramedic who is the first to the arrive.

The Region of Peel is partnering with Sunnybrook Hospital to start a research pilot program to send trained volunteers to cardiac arrest calls if they are closer to the scene than paramedics.

This five-year-project aims to increase community access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are given to volunteers trained in their use, as well as CPR.

Using an automated app, these volunteers will be notified if there’s a cardiac arrest call nearby and then directed to help the person while paramedics travel to the scene.

“We want residents to know that if they call 911 for a life-threatening emergency, the first person to show up may actually be their neighbour or someone passing by,” said Peel Paramedic Chief Peter Dundas. “By connecting people willing to help with people who need help, we’re interested to see if we can make Peel a safer and healthier place to live.”

Peel paramedics say the chances of survival increase by 70 per cent when someone experiencing cardiac arrest gets early CPR and defibrillation.

Peel paramedics are looking for 78 volunteers to fill positions in the pilot. Anyone over 18 with first aid and CPR training is welcome to sign up.