Help is just around the corner at the Orléans Centrum.
The Orléans Cumberland Community Resource Centre recently installed an AED – also known as a defibrillator – and trained eight staff members how to use the device.
There is one already installed at the Shenkman Arts Centre across the street, but when minutes and seconds are crucial, the quicker the access, the better.
A defibrillator is an easy-to-use electronic device used in conjunction with CPR when a person goes into cardiac arrest.
The chief of Ottawa’s paramedics, Anthony Di Monte, was at the resource centre on Nov. 21 to raise awareness of the program.
The centre is a private group, not run by the city. But because it is a public centre for community members, Ottawa paramedics and the Heart and Stroke Foundation funded the installation and training related to the defibrillator.
“People may not know this, but this is one of the success stories you don’t hear,” Di Monte said.
He said that Ottawa used to have one of the worst cardiac survival rates in North America.
Now Ottawa has the most defibrillators of any community in Canada, and has the third highest cardiac survival rate in North America.
“Every minute your chances of survival diminish 10 per cent,” Di Monte said. “Now, we bring the hospital to you.”
Micheline Turnau, health and promotion specialist with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said Ottawa has created an excellent model that has saved many lives. The city has put them in many city run facilities, such as arenas.
“It’s very clear that it’s something that’s needed in public situations,” Coun. Bob Monette said of the public defibrillators. “Today we are fortunate to have one at the resource centre.”
Orléans Cumberland Community Resource Centre executive director Luc Ouellette said it’s an important resource they want to be able to offer the community. Anyone at a movie, dining out, or doing errands in the Centrum could come into the centre if someone in the area were to go into cardiac arrest.
Groups that would like information on receiving an AED can contact their councillor’s office to get in touch with the paramedics. Ottawa paramedics will also visit and do a risk assessment, and advise the business of the best location for installation, and help with training.
“It’s so simple, (using them) is a skill everyone should be taught,” Di Monte said.
He said there have been cases of someone using a defibrillator without ever having been trained, just by receiving the guidance of a 911 operator.
Residents can receive free CPR and defibrillator training through the Ottawa paramedics can take the course on Dec. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. The free course is not a full certification, but teaches the basics, such as how to use the machine. It will be held at the Jim Durrell Recreation Centre at 1265 Walkley Rd.