Laval aims for heart safety supremacy

By Robert Frank

Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt wants to cut the heart attack death toll in Laval and has set a goal of being the best-equipped metropolis in Quebec to respond to a cardiac arrest.

He has mobilized the city to help buildings with 50 or more residents, by subsidizing them to purchase automated external defibrillators, he announced at a news conference Sept. 11.

The computerized defibrillators are so simple to use that a child can be taught to operate one, and are equipped with sensors that prevent them from accidentally discharging on a healthy person whose heart is beating.

“The objective is clear,” Vaillancourt said. “Reducing heart attack deaths in Laval by adding another tool to the survival chain.”

The survival rate of defibrillators is two-and-a-half times as high as cardiopulmonary resuscitation alone—and every minute counts after the heart stops beating.

Seattle, North America’s best-equipped city to deal with cardiac arrest, has equipped every telephone booth in the city with defibrillators.

This is not Laval’s first such initiative. Last year, the city equipped 20 public safety vehicles with defibrillators—some of which have already been pressed into action to save lives.

Sossie Der Estrepanian, for example, gave a brief account of how two police officers—Audrey Langlois-Brière and Sébastien Marceau—used a defibrillator to save the life of her father. 

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