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RBC Helps ACT Foundation Bring Defibrillator Program to Cowichan Valley School District Secondary Schools

Chemainus, BC, June 24, 2013 –Today, 15 teachers from School District #79 Cowichan Valley will be trained to empower their students with Automated External Defibrillator (AED) skills as an enhancement to the ACT High School CPR Program. This training, to be held at Chemainus Secondary School, will result in 650 students trained annually by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills. 

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is working in partnership with the Emergency and Health Services Commission, British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) and community partners to bring this program to the communities of Chemainus, Duncan, Lake Cowichan and Mill Bay.

Thanks to a donation from RBC, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi, the public secondary schools in School District #79 Cowichan Valley will each receive AED training mannequins, AED training units, as well as an AED for in-school cardiac arrest emergencies in case a student, staff or visiting community member suffers a sudden cardiac arrest at the school.

“At RBC we believe the health and wellness of local communities is of vital importance,” said Allison Brind, RBC Branch Manager, Ladysmith. “We are proud to be long-time supporters of the ACT Foundation and are thrilled to be one of the community partners bringing CPR and AED training to School District # 79 Cowichan Valley Secondary Schools”

“It’s a privilege to partner in this way with high schools and teachers, who already work so hard to prepare our children to meet life’s challenges and act as responsible citizens,” said John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc.  “The ACT program adds an irreplaceable element to the high school experience. For some students, this training might one day make the difference between tragedy and saving a life.”

Teachers from Chemainus, Cowichan, Frances Kelsey and Lake Cowichan Secondary Schools will participate in today’s workshop in Chemainus to be trained as instructors for their students.

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in Canadian high schools. To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 220 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and approximately 235,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.

The ACT Foundation is working with the Emergency and Health Services Commission to enhance the CPR program with defibrillator training and AEDs for public secondary schools throughout British Columbia. ACT’s health partners who are committed to bringing the AED program to these schools, and to high schools across Canada, are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi

Today’s teacher training is being provided by British Columbia Ambulance Service paramedics and CPR Instructors Sheree and Natalie Hunt, who are volunteering their time to teach the workshop.

“BC Ambulance Service paramedics attend over 3,000 cardiac arrest patients each year,” said BCAS Chief Operating Officer Les Fisher. “Although our dispatchers relay resuscitation instructions to 9-1-1 callers, a cardiac arrest victim’s best chance of survival is CPR and application of an AED by trained bystanders while the ambulance is enroute.”

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term. Moreover, early CPR, combined with early defibrillation, can increase survival rates for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75%, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the support from our partners,” said Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can enhance the CPR program in the Cowichan Valley School District secondary schools with the addition of the defibrillator component. These are lifesaving skills that students will be able to bring to their current and future families and communities.”

To date, the ACT Foundation has set up the ACT High School CPR Program in more than 1,600 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 1.8 million youth to save lives.

Program Numbers in School District #79 Cowichan Valley

The four (4) public secondary schools participating in today’s workshop in Chemainus are to receive:

  • 4 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs);
  • 13 AED training units;
  • 13 AED training mannequins.

This initiative will result in:

  • 15 teachers trained as CPR and AED instructors for their students; and
  • 650 students will learn CPR and AED skills each year.

 

About the ACT Foundation

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing the CPR and AED program in Canadian high schools. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners who donate the mannequins, AED training units, and AED units that schools need to set up the program. Secondary school teachers then teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator to their students as a regular part of the curriculum, reaching all youth prior to graduation. ACT’s health partners who are committed to bringing the program to British Columbia and to high schools across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi.

 

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