CPR and AED were tacitly honoured right alongside several hockey game spectators last week in Owen Sound, Canada, when the Heart and Stroke Foundation recognised the life-saving contributions of three individuals who provided CPR to pro hockey player Brett MacLean, who collapsed during a hockey game last July.  MacLean, who was suffering a cardiac arrest, needed not only CPR but also the use of an AED – automated external defibrillator machine.

Thankfully, Jay Forlund had received care training in the use of an AED as a function of his job.  Forlund works as a professional firefighter in Owen Sound.  He was attending the game merely to watch his sons participate in the action when the 23-year old athlete fell to the ice.  Thinking fast, Forlund first called for emergency services and then immediately ran to get the AED.

Forlund commented afterward that it was alarming to perform CPR on a young man instead of the aged individuals who usually need it during the course of his professional duties.  The firefighter’s experience, however, points to an important fact about care training: Skills that are learned in work training courses in order to help employees get or keep a job are often highly transferable.  The same skills that are important in a care home facility may be critical in another context completely, such as at a hockey game, when the life of a complete stranger may depend on CPR and AED.  It’s also important if you already have this skill that you do a CPR and AED refresher.

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