First aid, CPR and AEDs: Learn to save a life!
Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency and can strike without warning, affecting people of all ages and all fitness levels. If you see someone collapse and is unresponsive, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number and do CPR immediately and, if available, use an AED until medical help arrives. If this treatment is done within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, it can save a life!
First aid is the first step in the process of assessing and addressing the medical needs of someone who has been injured or is in distress due to a heart attack, stroke, choking, or other medical emergencies. Being trained in first aid techniques allows you to determine the immediate course of treatment required until advanced medical help arrives.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an emergency procedure that is used to restore blood flow to someone who is having cardiac arrest. Without proper blood flow, the brain and organs can be seriously damaged and the person can die within minutes if not treated immediately. CPR can help maintain blood flow and ventilation for a short period of time in a person experiencing cardiac arrest.
An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is a device that is used to get a heart back to its natural rhythms by delivering an electrical shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest.
Typically you can find AEDs in malls, community centres, and other public places. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has placed a significant number of AEDs across the country and trained thousands of people how to use them.
Find out where you can buy an AED and how to start an AED program.
Easy-to-follow steps: Hands-Only* CPR
If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest:
- Call 9-1-1
- If there are people around, tell someone to call 9-1-1 (or your local emergency number).
- If you are alone, call 9-1-1 (or your local emergency number).
- Get an AED (if one is available)
- If there are people around, tell someone to bring you the AED.
- If you are alone, get the AED yourself
- Use the AED as soon as it arrives by turning it on and following the prompts
- Push hard and fast in the centre of the chest (start CPR)
- Don’t hesitate. Keep pushing until the person starts to breathe or move or someone with more advanced medical training takes over.
*Hands only is a servicemark of the American Heart Association, Inc., used under license.
Get First Aid, CPR and AED in-classroom training
Now, anyone can be a hero with First Aid/CPR training. The Heart and Stroke Foundation offers the following course for the general public:
- Standard First Aid and CPR course
This course will teach you the life-saving skills of CPR and first aid to help sustain the life of a suddenly ill or injured person until emergency medical services arrive. Instruction will cover how to provide relief to choking adults, children and infants; and how to respond to common accident-related or medical emergencies.
Approximate course length: 16 hours
- Heartsaver: CPR and AED training course
This course will teach you the life-saving skills of CPR and how to provide relief to choking adults, children and infants, as well as how to use an AED with both adults and children. (Training in infant and child CPR and choking relief are optional.)
Approximate course length: 4 Hours
Learn CPR at home
Get the bilingual CPR Anytime Kit for adults/children and infants and learn the life-saving skills of CPR in 20 minutes in your own home.