Town recognizes lifesavers

Certificates of recognition given for extraordinary personal action to save a life

Last night, Mayor and Town Council recognized 15 town staff and residents for their extraordinary personal acts of courage to save the lives of fellow employees and members of the public who experienced life-threatening emergencies while at town facilities.

“It’s a proud feeling to know Oakville residents and staff were ready and willing to take the necessary steps in those first moments when they are most vital to saving a person’s life,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

In the four situations, members of the public suffered cardiac arrests and town staff and residents sprang into action — assessing the situation, beginning life-saving CPR and administering shocks from an automated external defibrillator (AED) in addition to calling 911, doing crowd control and directing EMS to the scene.

Here are their stories:

River Oaks Community Centre

In June 2011, when a member of the River Oaks Recreation Centre Mature Adults Club suffered a cardiac arrest during a badminton game, town staff Bob Pawliw, Larry Espinola, Alan Goulart, Janet Scarrow and Tony Luis did not hesitate. The situation was critical and together they took the situation under control — administering CPR, using the AED, and calling 911. The member is back playing badminton and pickle ball.

Oakville Transit building

In November 2014, an Oakville Transit driver collapsed to the floor as he was walking in the main hallway of the Transit facility. Town staff Debbie Dalle Vedove immediately went to his side and began CPR and directed staff to call 911. Fellow transit employee Connie Benner provided assistance with the AED and together they were successful in their effort to revive the employee. Upon arrival, EMS stabilized him and then transported him to hospital. He has fully recovered following successful heart surgery.

Sir John Colborne Recreation Centre for Seniors

This past January, a member of the Sir John Colborne Recreation Centre for Seniors had a cardiac arrest while playing cards. Staff members Julie Pennal and Nancy Beddoe, and volunteer Don Lyons quickly responded to the emergency by administering CPR and the AED. Volunteer Kathryn Hamel and staff member Nicole Wedgerfield made the 911 call and helped keep the area clear of patrons. Thanks to their efforts, the 91-year old member is back playing his weekly card game at the centre.

Joshua’s Creek Arena

In February 2015, when a hockey player went into cardiac arrest at Joshua’s Creek Arena, teammate Raj Kandola began CPR compressions. Facility operators, Dave Comeau and Andrew Brodie responded without hesitation, immediately using the AED, calling 911 and directing the EMS to the scene. Thanks to the leadership of these three gentlemen the patron was revived, transferred to hospital and underwent successful heart surgery.

Public Access Defibrillators

All of the town’s buildings are equipped with at least one AED. All 42 AEDs are registered with Halton EMS making them Public Access Defibrillator (PADs). This means when someone calls 911 the dispatcher will be able to tell them the location of that building’s AED. The town also has 250+ staff trained in CPR and the use of its AEDs.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, CPR alone offers a five per cent chance of survival, while an AED used in conjunction with CPR in the first three minutes of a cardiac arrest doubles the chances of survival.
The 15 lifesaving certificate recipients recognized at Council were:

Town of Oakville employees:

Bob Pawliw – Recreation Coordinator, River Oaks Community Centre
Tony Luis – Facility Operator, Oakville Arena
Alan Goulart – Facility Lead Hand, River Oaks Community Centre
Larry Espinola – Facility Operator, River Oaks Community Centre
Janet Scarrow – Fitness Instructor, River Oaks Community Centre
Debbie Dalle Vedove – Manager, Transit Operations
Connie Benner – Supervisor, Oakville Transit
Nancy Beddoe – Manager, Adult and Seniors Services
Julie Pennal – Recreation Coordinator, Sir John Colborne Recreation Centre for Seniors
Nicole Wedgerfield – Assistant Coordinator, Sir John Colborne Recreation Centre for Seniors
Dave Comeau – Facility Operator, Joshua’s Creek Arena
Andrew Brodie – Facility Operator, Joshua’s Creek Arena

Town of Oakville residents/volunteers:

Kathryn Hamel
Don Lyons
Raj Kandola

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Town recognizes lifesavers