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Bystanders honoured for saving life in North Vancouver parking lot

July 04, 2022


Liam Marcoux, Devan Coward and Ray Wong received Vital Link Awards from BC Emergency Health Services for their life-saving efforts on March 5.BC Emergency Health Services

By Nick Laba, North Shore News.

When a shopper went into cardiac arrest in the Park and Tilford parking lot earlier this year, three bystanders quickly jumped into action.

They were strangers to each other, but they all had CPR training and worked together as a team. Two were shopping at the time, on March 5, and the third was a store supervisor on his lunch break.

Paramedics from BC Emergency Health Services honoured the citizens for their life-saving efforts with Vital Link Awards at a ceremony presentation last Saturday (June 25).

Liam Marcoux, a new probationary Vancouver firefighter at the time, had emergency medical responder training but hadn't used it until that moment.

He was the first to get chest compressions started early, according to a statement from BCEHS. “It was nice to be able to put my training into practice. It was easier than I thought it would be,” Marcoux said.

Also on the scene was Devan Coward, a teacher at École Ross Road Elementary. “When we realized the store had an AED (automated external defibrillator), we were able to get that on the patient’s chest, and delivered a number of shocks before paramedics arrived," he said.

Coward is a former lifeguard, as well as an EMR and first aid trainer who teaches CPR to students.

Save-On-Foods supervisor Ray Wong rushed to grab the AED device inside his store. Wong has CPR and AED training. He said having others who knew how to administer CPR and their support helped calm him to aid in saving the patient’s life.

These bystanders were instrumental in keeping the patient alive, explained paramedic specialist Brian Twaites, who was the emcee at the award ceremony.

“By calling 911 for an ambulance, starting early CPR and using an AED, they clearly helped save this patient’s life.”

Megan Lawrence, acting unit chief of Station 256 in North Vancouver, who was one of the attending paramedics on the day of the incident, nominated the award recipients.