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March 1, 2013
Swimmer thanks lifeguards and paramedics for saving his life
Today, at the Gus Ryder Pool and Health Club, 65-year-old Paul Andaloro met with the pool staff and Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics that saved his life on January 18. A grateful Andaloro thanked his rescuers while shaking hands and posing for pictures with them.

As a regular patron at the pool, Andaloro attended his usual early morning lane swim on that fateful Friday in January. During the swim, lifeguards recognized that he was in distress and they immediately sprang into action. They quickly removed him from the water and began performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while applying the on-site Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Paramedics Bryan Rusk and Joe Barta continued treatment during transport to hospital. The paramedics later informed staff that their quick response contributed to saving the swimmer's life.

Lifeguards Kristy Blair, Alessandra Filice, Cristine Vlcek and custodial staff members Sergio Marchese and Diane Toutloff were commended for their life-saving actions.

"All aquatic staff members participate in rigorous training to prepare for events which we hope will never happen," said Anne Jackson, the City's Manager of Aquatics. "All of the City's pools are equipped with AED devices and the staff is trained in their use with the assistance of the Toronto EMS Cardiac Safe City Program."

When a person is in cardiac arrest, seconds count. When CPR is combined with the use of an AED in those early minutes, an individual’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest increases by up to 75 per cent. Without CPR and defibrillation, fewer than five per cent of people who have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive.

"The Toronto EMS Cardiac Safe City Program continues to save lives," stated Gayle Pollock, Commander Toronto EMS Safe City Program. "This is the third save this year using an AED installed in a public space as part of the City's program," she added. "We are thrilled to hear about Mr. Andaloro's recovery and we are very grateful that he is willing to speak publicly about his experience so that others may realize the importance of CPR and AED training."

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line

Kim McKinnon
Superintendent of Public Information and Media, Toronto Emergency Medical Services



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