In this year’s budget the Saskatchewan Government announced a budget increase for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to boost the FAST public awareness campaign.

An additional $50,000 has been allocated specifically for the campaign, which raises awareness to the signs of a stroke.

According to a news release the stroke campaign “urges Saskatchewan residents to recognize signs and act FAST (Face - is it drooping; arms - can you raise both; speech - is it slurred or jumbled; time to call 911)”

“Over the last decade, stroke care in Saskatchewan has improved, but incidences of stroke have increased,” Manitoba and Saskatchewan Heart and Stroke Foundation CEO Allison Kesler said in a news release. “It is more important than ever for people of all ages to know what a stroke looks like and how to get help.”

Since 2014 the FAST campaign has increase public recognition of stroke signs across the country. Calling 911 triggers a stroke alert province wide, which allows health care workers time to prepare to treat a patient experiencing symptoms of a stroke.

The province reminds that a stroke is a medical emergency and people experiencing a stroke should never drive themselves to the hospital. Patients who arrive by ambulance experience faster treatment, which is critical when damage to the brain is happening.