Support provided by quick-thinking members of the public can often mean the difference between life and death for patients.
Whether performing bystander CPR, providing critical information to dispatchers or assisting paramedics on scene, British Columbians are an important link that makes the health care system work.
To recognize the significant contributions made by citizens during medical emergencies, the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) supports two community awards: the Vital Link Award and the Good Samaritan Award, which are presented to individuals throughout the province. Award recipients are typically nominated by BCAS paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers or supervisors who wish to express their appreciation for the exceptional assistance they received at the scene of a medical emergency.
In addition to providing much deserved formal recognition to members of the public, the Community Awards program is an excellent opportunity to educate the public about the positive impact bystander CPR and first aid can have on patient outcomes. BCAS hopes that recognizing contributions and re-enforcing the importance of bystander support will encourage similar behaviour.
The Vital Link Award is presented to citizens who are involved in saving a life through successful cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.
The Good Samaritan Award is presented to individuals who have provided unselfish and humanitarian assistance during a medical emergency.