Think you might be having a heart attack? Call 911 immediately.

When faced with a medical emergency, there are many things that can run through your mind. Whether you are a witness to the emergency or if you are the emergency, calling 911 should be your first priority. This is especially important if the emergency might be a heart attack.

If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, DO NOT DRIVE TO THE HOSPITAL. Call 911 for an ambulance.Ambulance

Most Common Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain*
  • Sweating

*Women often don’t feel any chest pain.

Less Common Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Light headedness/dizziness
  • Upset stomach, vomiting, nausea
  • Anxiety
  • DenialEMS

It is important to know the signs of a heart attack. Don’t risk your life or someone else’s. Call 911 immediately.  Halton’s paramedics are highly skilled and can begin treating a person suffering from a heart attack immediately.

Upon reaching the patient, the Paramedics can perform tests to determine if the type of heart attack is one that can be most effectively treated in a regional cardiac centre, either in Mississauga or Hamilton. If the heart attack is considered a “STEMI,” the patient will be quickly taken to a cardiac centre where they undergo a surgical procedure to restore blood flow to the heart. This is called the STEMI Program and we are very fortunate to have it. The STEMI program is showing positive outcomes when these patients are transported directly to the cardiac centre by paramedics.

If a person were to have a family member or friend drive them to a hospital, there would be delays in getting the patient the proper cardiac care. Any delay decreases a person’s chance of surviving a heart attack. Calling 911 is your best option.

In 2012, the Halton Region Paramedic Services created a series of educational videos for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillators which include:

Please watch and share these videos.

CPR is a skill that is easy to learn and can save a life. Halton Region Paramedic Services offers several options for learning CPR. There are other community organizations that offer training as well.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”