EMS salutes Toronto's 'heroes'

Emergency Medical Services gives credit to average Torontonians who've helped save people in distress.

Average citizens help out in life-threatening situations

Toronto EMS says it responds to an average of 800 calls per day. But it is the actions of regular people helping out that they chose to highlight at the EMS Awards this week.

In the map above, click on a superhero icon to read the story of Torontonians responding to life-threatening situations from the last year.

"It is the citizens out there who jump in and help out those patients in life-threatening condition, who help with CPR and first aid and defibrillators  that really save lives," said Paul Raftis, EMS Chief.

Some of the first responders were off-duty police officers, others were just people out for a walk. In one instance, an EMS award was given to a famous Hollywood actor. 

Ben Quinn and Chris Mathias ran outside the King Edward Hotel to help a tourist who suffered a major cut to his throat. Alongside the two was actor John Malkovich

"I knew that this man could bleed to death, and John Malkovich had applied pressure to his neck with a scarf. I just cradled his head because it was on the pavement, but when you see the blood seeping down, every second feels like a minute," said Quinn. 

Mathias, a doorman at the hotel, said the tourist broke into tears thanking him. "It was my pleasure," said Mathias. "I'd do it again in a second."

Click here for a full version of the map