March 25, 2010
Media Release

York Region Heart Alive program expands to YRT and local shelters

Twenty-six life saving AEDs will be introduced to new locations
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York is pleased to announce the expansion of the Heart Alive program to York Region Transit (YRT) staff and three emergency shelters in York Region. 
 
Twenty-six new life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) will be funded through a Heart and Stroke Foundation grant to enable staff in public locations to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest. 
 
“York Region’s Heart Alive program began in 2003 with the goal of saving lives in our public spaces,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Through ongoing training and expansion of AED units in our community, we will continue to be prepared to offer help in those critical minutes following cardiac arrest.”
 
The new AEDs will be shared between YRT enforcement and operations staff for use at transit stops and on vehicles.  AEDs will also be installed at York Region emergency shelters Leeder Place, Porter Place and Youth Shelter.  The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario will pay up to $3,500 for each of the 26 AEDs purchased by the Region for a total estimated cost of $91,000.
 
Approximately 500 staff are trained to use AEDs each year and more than 5,000 have been trained in CPR and first aid since the inception of the Heart Alive program.  Since 2003, 56 AEDs have been installed in Regional facilities and 96 in local municipal locations.
 
“York Region shares in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s vision of widely available defibrillators and training,” said Town of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chair of the Region’s Community and Health Services Committee.  “Residents can take heart when they see an AED at a public location – help is only steps away.”
 
Almost one third of all sudden cardiac arrests occur in public spaces.  The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends widespread access to AEDs as well as training to use them in conjunction with first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905 716-9753
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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