Ontario Takes Saving Lives To Heart

McGuinty Government Invests In More Defibrillators

For Community Centres, Arenas, Schools


NEWS                                                                                                                           June 3, 2011


Ontario families will have greater access to defibrillators to help if someone has a heart attack.


Ontario is bringing more of these life-saving machines to publicly funded sport and recreation centres and some schools, with busy recreational programs, to ensure they are close by in case of an emergency.


Tens of thousands of people will also be trained to use the machines and provide life saving CPR to respond quickly.


Ontario will also develop a registry to track where defibrillators are currently located and help identify where they need to be. This registry will also provide Emergency Service Workers (EMS) and the public with information on where to locate defibrillators.


This investment builds on the McGuinty government’s commitment to promoting healthy Ontario families.



“Public access to defibrillators can mean the difference between life and death.  With more public access to this life-saving tool in recreation facilities, community centres and schools, Ontarians will be able to enjoy healthy and engaging activities with the added comfort that a defibrillator is closely accessible in the event of an emergency.”

--Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion and Sport



“A heart attack can happen at any age. By working together to ensure every rec centre and school has a defibrillator, we’ll be prepared just in case, so our families can be safer while at school and play.”

— Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario



“Thanks to the leadership and support of the McGuinty government, we have come a long way in protecting the heart health of Ontarians. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to our dream of seeing life-saving AEDs become as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario.”

— David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation




·         A defibrillator gives an electrical shock to the heart to reset a normal beat. It scans for abnormal heart rhythms and advises the first responder to administer the jolt. Receiving immediate treatment could save lives and reduce the need for long-term hospitalization.


§         Early intervention using a defibrillator, together with CPR, can save lives and improve survival rates by up to 50 per cent.


§         Ontario passed the Chase McEachern Act in 2007 which provides liability protection to individuals who attempt to use a defibrillator in an emergency and to property owners and tenants.


§         The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario — in partnership with the province — has already installed 2,711 defibrillators throughout Ontario at sport, recreation and community centres. Nearly 21,688 first responders have been trained and 30 lives have been saved.




Want to learn how to use a defibrillator? The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario can help.