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Woman who gave Gatineau shock victim CPR calls for safety around electricity

A woman who resuscitated a Gatineau man who suffered an electric shock says people should stay safe. The man ended up with an electric shock while placing sandbags in a home. Those who are returning to their flooded properties should be careful around electricity.

Richard Lafontaine was helping his neighbor on De la Gappe Boulevard in the Touraines neighborhood when he fell into electrified water. Melissa Hoszko was a volunteer nearby with her boyfriend and father when they observed that Lafontaine collapsed.

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After her boyfriend and father transferred Lafontaine to a dry area, Hoszko and another individual initiated CPR.

According to Hoszko, they did not have any experience working with electricity. They thought that he was working so long that he was exhausted and passed out or he had a heart attack.

Hoszko later found out that he had stumbled over an electric-powered pump that was submerged in water. Lafontaine’s face was blue and had no pulse. She thought he was going to die but then decided to act. After her boyfriend and father transferred Lafontaine to a dry area, Hoszko and another individual initiated CPR.

Deadly mix of electricity and water

According to Sylvain Langlois, a friend of Lafontaine, he is still in a healthcare facility but with an improving condition, but it will entail months.

The Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario suggests that people returning home must ensure that water has not damaged the power supplies and check if cables or wires have frayed upon returning home.

According to Scott Saint, ESA’s chief public safety officer, electricity and water do not mix. It is important to check if the water level has risen above the level of the electrical outlets, furnace, baseboard heaters or electrical panels. In such cases, get in touch with the utility provide to ensure that the power is turned off.

Furthermore, the ESA suggests hiring a licensed contractor to examine any electrical damage and deal with the repairs.

For more information about this story, click here.


Learn how to help by enrolling in a CPR class and for more information, check out these sources:

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