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September 28, 2005
Toronto EMS issues CPR Challenge: Are you ready to respond to a medical emergency?
Recent studies show that only 14 per cent of Toronto residents are trained in
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The current survival rate from sudden
cardiac arrest (SCA) in Toronto is less than three per cent. Over 2,000
Torontonians will die this year alone from cardiac arrest. The best way to give
these victims a fighting chance is to give them early CPR and defibrillation.

Approximately 80 per cent of sudden cardiac arrest cases occur in the home. Are
you ready to respond in case of a medical emergency? Could you do the CPR that
could save your colleague, family member, friend or loved one?

Toronto has one of the most advanced emergency systems in the world, but
sometimes our paramedics, fire fighters and police officers just cannot beat
the clock. For each passing minute after collapsing from cardiac arrest,
victims lose up to 10 per cent chance of survival. By having more public
responders initiate CPR and early defibrillation before emergency services
arrive, we can increase chances of survival from SCA by 50 per cent.

Toronto EMS issued the CPR Challenge to raise awareness about the importance of
learning CPR -- for people of all ages.

Free 45-minute CPR skills workshops will be held on October 1 and 2 at 10
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation community centres. These are not
recertification courses, but are designed to provide a basic knowledge of CPR
and raise awareness of the need for members of the public to learn and practice
CPR skills.

Free Community Workshops -- Advance registration is required
Saturday, October 1 (workshops at most locations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
Sunday, October 2 (workshops start at 2 p.m.)

  • Grandravine Community Centre, 25 Grandravine Dr.
  • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Oriole Community Centre, 2975 Don Mills Rd.
  • Agincourt Recreation Centre, 31 Glen Watford Dr.
  • Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Trinity Community Centre, 155 Crawford St.
  • East York Community Centre, 1081½ Pape Ave.
  • Main Square Community Centre, 245 Main St.
  • Gord & Irene Risk Community Centre, 2650 Finch Ave. W.
  • Memorial Pool & Health Club, 44 Montgomery Rd.

    To register for a workshop, call 1-87-SAFE-CITY (1-877-233-2489). For more
    details on the Toronto CPR Challenge, visit

    Garrie Wright, Co-ordinator of the Cardiac Safe City Program, is available for
    media interviews and CPR demonstrations all week.

    Media contacts:

    Garrie Wright
    Cardiac Safe City Program

    Tania Palomaki
    CPR Challenge Project Lead

    Larry Roberts
    Media Relations and Communications



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