Try the new

CPR and the Chain of Survival

New CPR/AED Training Videos

In this series of videos, Halton Region Paramedic Services provides basic instruction for responding to a cardiovascular emergency.

Watch Videos

What does CPR mean?

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency first aid procedure that consists of mouth-to-mouth respirations and chest compressions. CPR allows oxygenated blood to circulate to vital organs such as the brain and heart.
  • CPR can keep a person alive until more advanced procedures (such as defibrillation - an electric shock to the heart) can treat the cardiac arrest. In some instances, particularly when the patient is a child, CPR alone can trigger the return of regular breathing and heartbeats.
  • An Ontario study looked at 10,000 cardiac arrests and found that CPR initiated by a bystander more than doubled the chance of survival. There are many wonderful stories of local cardiac arrest survivors that are alive today in part because of bystander CPR.

top of page

What is the Chain of Survival?

Chain of Survival

  • The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada developed the “Chain of Survival” as a tool for improving cardiac health and improving cardiac emergency outcomes in Canadian communities.
  • Strengthening “the chain” is now recognized world wide as an effective method for achieving these two goals.
  • Like a true chain, it is most effective when every link is strong.
  • When a person’s breathing or heart stops, seconds count.
  • Beginning the Chain of Survival is critical to a person’s chances of surviving a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest.

The 7 links are:

  • Healthy Choices - Cardiovascular health begins with healthy choices including: healthy eating , physical activity , quit smoking , managing weight, managing diabetes, managing alcohol consumption, controlling blood pressure and controlling stress.
  • Early Recognition - Everyone can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke in both men and women. When you recognize the signs in yourself or another person, Call 9-1-1. Doctors say “Time is Tissue”. This means that the sooner we recognize and react the less heart or brain tissue that will be damaged, improving the chance of survival and facilitating a faster return to a normal lifestyle.
  • Early Access - Calling 9-1-1 from anywhere in southern Ontario will access Paramedic Services. Wherever possible use a landline, only use a cell phone when a regular phone is unavailable. Remain calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions to the best of your ability. In a serious health emergency do not attempt to drive yourself or another person to hospital.
  • Early CPR - Learn CPR and maintain your skills through regular refresher training. Rescue breathing and chest compressions circulate oxygenated blood and buy the patient valuable time. Bystander CPR is an important factor in most cardiac arrest “saves”.
  • Early Defibrillation - An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that shocks the heart and allows for the return of a blood pumping heart rhythm. Rapid defibrillation is the single most important factor in surviving a cardiac arrest. For more information on workplace AEDs, see our AED Toolkit (PDF file). To register your AED with Halton Paramedic Services, please contact Paul Lamey at
  • Early Advanced Care - Paramedics and Emergency Room staff use advanced techniques to manage the airway and administer medications. These procedures lessen the amount of tissue damage caused by heart attack and stroke. Halton Region Paramedic Services has Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP’s) working in each community on each shift.
  • Early Rehabilitation - After surviving a coronary event, proper care and managed lifestyle modifications can reduce complications, speed recovery and reduce the chance of a second acute episode.

This is what you can to do to help:

  • Develop and maintain skills in CPR and First Aid. It may save someone you love.
  • Remain calm when calling 911. Use a landline (instead of a cell phone) if one is available.
  • Have someone meet emergency personnel and direct them to the patient, especially for night-time and rural calls
  • Have the patient’s health card, medical history and medications ready for the paramedics.
  • Ensure that house numbers are highly visible.
  • Ensure easy access for paramedics. Move cars from driveways, move furniture and clear a passage to the patient.
  • When an ambulance with flashing lights approaches, carefully pull your vehicle over to the right and stop. It’s the law.
  • Post your address by the phone in case visitors need it to call for help.

top of page

What CPR training is available through Halton Paramedic Services?

Halton Paramedic Services offers several options for community groups to learn CPR. For a group of 12 - 25 people with access to a room appropriate for teaching, Halton Paramedic Services will deliver the following courses:

HeartSaver CPR

  • An introduction to The Chain of Survival plus practical instruction in performing adult CPR and choking techniques.
  • Includes a brief introduction to Public Access Defibrillation (PAD).
    • Class time - 4 hours
    • Cost - $40/person
    • Minimum class size - 12 people

Health Care Provider CPR Level C

  • An in depth look at The Chain of Survival plus practical training in infant, child and adult CPR and choking techniques.
  • This level of training is required by many employers and is appropriate for people that might expect to perform CPR at their job.
  • Includes a Public Access Defibrillation training scenario (PAD).
    • Class time – 4 hours
    • Cost - $59/person
    •  Minimum class size – 12 people

Infant Injury Prevention, First Aid and CPR

  • A discussion on how to prevent the most common childhood injuries including falls, poisoning, burns and environmental injuries.
  • In the event that injury does occur an introduction to basic first aid and CPR techniques for managing a medical emergency until emergency services personnel arrive.
  • Ideal for parents and caregivers with children aged newborn to six years.
    • Class time – 4 hours
    • Cost - $33/person
    • Minimum class size – 12 people

Lunch n’ Learn – The Chain of Survival and PAD in our Communities

  • An interactive talk on how to initiate the Chain of Survival and the PAD program in order to respond to a cardiac emergency.
  • Ideal for the workplace, sports organizations and community groups.
    • Class time – 1 ½ hours
    • Cost - Contact EMS for pricing
    • Minimum class size – 12 people

Courses are offered on weekdays, evenings and weekends. A minimum of two weeks notification is required for scheduling. To book one of the courses, contact Halton EMS at 905-825-6000.

If you are looking for training for a smaller group or an individual, we encourage residents interested in CPR and First Aid to check out the training opportunities offered by local agencies such as the Canadian Red Cross (external link) and St. John Ambulance (external link).

top of page