Act FAST: Partner with Heart & Stroke to raise the awareness of signs of stroke and save lives

21 Jan Act FAST: Partner with Heart & Stroke to raise the awareness of signs of stroke and save lives

Heart & Stroke wants to partner with more paramedic services in Ontario to save Ontarians from the effects of stroke.

 FAST stands for: Face: is it drooping? Arms: can you raise both? Speech: is it slurred or jumbled? Time: to call 9-1-1 right away.

The objective of our campaign in to place decals showing the FAST message on ambulances throughout Ontario, to remind people of the three key FAST signs and to remind everyone of the urgency of calling 911 immediately (as opposed to driving yourself to hospital or waiting to see your doctor).

In February 2018, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario received funding for the FAST campaign from the Province of Ontario. The FAST mass media campaign aims to improve public awareness of signs of stroke through television public announcements, digital, social and traditional media, and through partnerships with paramedic services.

Paramedics play a significant role in the stroke care. They can get stroke patients to the most appropriate hospital more safely and efficiently than if patients are driven by a family member or friend. If a bypass agreement is in place, paramedics may bypass a closer hospital and take a stroke patient to one equipped to provide specialized stroke care.

According to 2017 FAST Campaign evaluation results from British Colombia, about 1 in 10 BC residents recalled seeing the FAST decal on the side or rear of an ambulance. It was the second most frequently cited way that those residents received the FAST message, after the TV campaign. Ontario residents also need to know the urgency of stroke care and understand that time lost is brain lost. Since 2017, Heart & Stroke has partnered with 20 paramedic services throughout Ontario including Region of Waterloo, Hamilton, Sudbury, Peterborough, just to name a few. There are currently 458 ambulances displaying our FAST decals.

Heart & Stroke wants to partner with your paramedic service to place FAST decal on your ambulances. If you’re interested, please reach out to Maggie Zhang at maggie.zhang@heartandstroke.ca. We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information about the signs of stroke: www.heartandstroke.ca/FAST.