Recently, Toronto’s professional soccer team — Toronto FC — and BMO Field were presented with a public-access defibrillator called a Mikey by Hugh Heron, chairman of The Mikey Network.
A Mikey is about the size of a laptop computer and administers an electrical charge through two soft pads attached to a person’s chest. Mikeys offer victims a fighting chance if they suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Having a unit available in a high-risk public place such as the soccer field can help to save lives.
Heron is also a principal/partner in The Heron Group of Companies as well as president of Heathwood Homes — the companies that founded The Mikey Network in 2003.
The organization is named for their partner and friend, Mike Salem, who experienced sudden cardiac arrest on a golf course in 2002 and died.
Heron presented the Mikey to Marc Petitpas, general manager of BMO Field, and spoke about the tremendous benefits of having a Mikey on site at this soccer-specific field in Exhibition Place.
Heron was named BMO Community Hero of the Game on the final day of the season, for demonstrating dedication and passion through his commitment to the community.
The Mikey Network is partnered with Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to make Toronto a Cardiac Safe City.
EMS handles the role of ensuring that on-site staff are trained in the effective use of the Mikeys.
These special defibrillators are popping up everywhere across Toronto and the GTA, especially at sports-related facilities.
In fact, in late 2006, The Mikey Network had its first “save” with a Mikey at the Toronto Racquet Club. Squash Ontario has now aligned itself with The Mikey Network to install Mikeys into each of its 180 facilities. SCOREGolf magazine and The Mikey Network have joined forces to place a Mikey at every golf course across Canada through a special subscription program, and this year, the Network was one of the many charities supported by the Toronto Marathon.
As sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any age, The Mikey Network has also partnered with Toronto District School Board, SickKids Hospital, Toronto EMS and Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Pre-Hospital Care to launch the Mikey Young-at-Heart School Defibrillator Program.
The Network is donating 120 Mikeys to be installed in the TDSB’s secondary schools, outdoor education centres and administrative sites.
For more info, log on to www.mikeynetwork.com.