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It Only Takes A Minute To Save A Life!

Armen Hareyan's picture

Cardiac Emergency Response

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) reminds Canadians that it only takes a minute to save a life. By knowing how to recognize and respond to a cardiac emergency, a person's odds of survival and recovery may increase by 30% or more.

November is CPR Awareness Month and the Heart and Stroke Foundation encourages all Canadians to learn how to save a life through emergency response and knowing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Here's how:

Phone First!

Once a medical emergency has been recognized, phone first! Call 911 or your local emergency medical services (EMS). Do not wait for the person to become unresponsive before you call. Make sure EMS is on the way while you check and help the person.

Be prepared when you call the EMS phone number. EMS dispatchers may ask for the following information:

  • The location of the emergency (with names of crossroads or streets)

  • The telephone number of the phone you are using to make the call

  • What happened (for example, suspected heart attack, stroke or choking)

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  • The person's age

  • Whether the person is responsive

  • Whether the person is breathing

  • What is being done to help (for example, "CPR is being done")

  • Any other information requested

  • Don't hang up until the dispatcher does. The dispatcher may need more information and will give you instructions about what to do until help arrives. Always be the last to hang up.

Immediate contact with emergency services and early CPR can improve the odds of survival for adults in cardiac arrest. All members of the community are urged to learn CPR, and when and how to respond to a cardiac emergency, including calling for medical help using 911 or their local EMS number.

CPR courses are available in every province. To find out about a course near you, call your local