History

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF) is an international leader in developing the science behind cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) and is a leading funder of Heart and Stroke research in Canada. HSF is a founding member of and is the only Canadian delegate to the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). HSF maintains a leadership role in resuscitation in Canada through its commitment to guideline development, providing the most current educational training, raising public awareness, advocacy, investment in research and the development of partnerships in support of a strong Chain of Survival™.

Heart and Stroke’s resuscitation legacy in Canada began in 1966 when training was given to medical, allied health and other professional personnel on the skill and use of CPR. In 1973, upon recommendation at the AHA Conference on CPR, CPR training was offered to the public. These courses not only taught the CPR skills, but also the early warning signs of a heart attack and how to activate the Emergency Medical System (EMS). Since 1974, HSF has been training instructors and teaching CPR to the general public, first responder and healthcare providers. It was clear to the Foundation over 35 years ago that widespread accessibility to CPR could transform emergency cardiovascular care in Canada. HSF took a leadership role in ensuring Canadian Guidelines for CPR and ECC were put in place and CPR was no longer only in the realm of the hospital.

Today, together with our resuscitation partners we work to ensure that the best resuscitation education training and resources are available across Canada. Dedicated Instructors, Instructor Trainers and Medical Directors comprise the HSF resuscitation network. HSF trains over 300,000 Canadians a year in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

Why is resuscitation so important? Time! Time is the difference between life and death in a sudden cardiac arrest. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is working to increase the number of Canadians who survive cardiac arrest through improved bystander CPR, greater use of AEDs, and strengthening the Chain of Survival™ in all Canadian communities.