VANCOUVER – As the new year of 2013 has arrived, so have thoughts of resolutions. While most resolutions involve vows to exercise more and adopt healthy eating habits, BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) has three suggestions for resolutions that can make the world a safer place for you, your family and your community.
• Learn CPR. BCAS attends 2,400 to 2,800 cardiac arrest calls each year. Only 12 per cent of British Columbians who suffer a cardiac arrest survive; the majority of incidents occur at home. “Bystander CPR is critical to patient survival of a sudden cardiac arrest,” said BCAS Superintendent Okanagan North Norm Matheson. “We know that bystander CPR saves lives – the more we can encourage everyone to be trained in CPR, the greater the chance of saving lives and ensuring a happy ending to what could be a devastating event.”
• Teach your children to call 9-1-1. “Teaching your child to call 9-1-1 and to know their home address is one of the most important things you can do to help keep you and your loved ones safe at home,” said Vancouver Island BCAS Emergency Medical Dispatcher Brad Mitchell. Even very young children can learn to call 9-1-1 – start with the basics when your child is three or four; role-play some simple scenarios and revisit the process every year.
• Install proper safety latches on windows. Screens should never be relied on for safety; they are not strong enough to withstand the weight of a child pushing against them. Paramedics see the critical injuries that result from falls from windows: from broken bones to facial and head trauma. “The best advice for caregivers is to ensure you have the right safety locks on windows and doors, especially if you have young children,” says BCAS Unit Chief Marilyn Oberg in Vancouver.
In 2011/12, BCAS responded to more than 486,000 events — nearly one per minute — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Resolve to make your 2013 safe.
BCAS operates under the authority of the Emergency and Health Services Commission (EHSC) and provides public ambulance service throughout British Columbia. The EHSC has the legislated mandate under the Emergency and Health Services Act to provide B.C. residents and healthcare professionals with access to pre-hospital emergency and patient transfer services. The EHSC also oversees BC Bedline and Trauma Services BC. The EHSC is a division of the Provincial Health Services Authority, which manages high-quality specialized health care services across British Columbia.