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Windsor-area students to be empowered to save lives

WINDSOR, Ontario, February 25, 2005 — Windsor-area high schools will be equipped to empower students to save lives through a new program launched by the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada with the support of the Ontario government, DaimlerChrysler Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers-Local 444. Launched today at F.J. Brennan High School, the program will see 5,900 local Grade 9 students from 30 high schools being trained every year in the lifesaving skills of CPR.

The program is the result of a provincial partnership between the ACT Foundation and the Ontario government, through which the province has committed half the funds to set up the ACT High School CPR Program in Ontario communities through a public-private matching funds model. Representing the Ontario government at today’s event was local MPP and Minister of Energy Dwight Duncan.

“Training youth to save lives is an important investment into the health of our community,” said Minister Duncan. “The ACT program creates an opportunity for Windsor and Essex youth to invest in a valuable skill; a skill that could one day save your life or mine.”

In Windsor, DaimlerChrysler Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers-Local 444 responded to ACT’s search for partners and are matching the Ontario government funding. Together with the Ontario government, these partners donated 870 mannequins to local high schools and have assured physical education teachers are trained to deliver the CPR course to their students.

“We are pleased to partner with the ACT Foundation, the provincial government, and the CAW to give students the opportunity to learn lifesaving techniques through the CPR program,” said Mark Gendregske, Vice President-Human Resources of DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. “We know how important it is to have CPR-trained employees. These lifesaving skills will now be shared with approximately 5,900 students and could potentially save the lives of our family and friends.”

Through the ACT High School CPR Program, every Grade 9 student in the three local school boards (Conseil scolaire des écoles catholiques de district du sud-ouest, Greater Essex County District School Board and Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board) will be prepared to help a parent or grandparent should they experience a heart attack; a brother, sister or child they are babysitting should they choke; or a friend involved in a drowning emergency.

The ACT Foundation has brought together partners to donate the resources required for teachers to deliver the program.

“This community support is a tremendous boost to ACT’s efforts in Ontario, as we endeavor to bring our CPR program to all Ontario high schools.” said ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. “This lifesaving program is simply not possible without this kind of corporate funding for training mannequins needed by schools.”

Research indicates that CPR response by citizens can improve the out-of-hospital survival rate for cardiac arrest almost fourfold. With 85% of cardiac arrests occurring at home, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

To date, the ACT Foundation has fundraised for mannequins bringing the program to half of Ontario high schools. Due to the tremendous demand for this program, the Ontario government has made a commitment of funds as part of a matching funding formula to help the ACT Foundation raise the remaining funds needed to expand the program to all Ontario high schools. Once implemented in all Ontario high schools, 155,000 Grade 9 students will be trained in the lifesaving skill of CPR every year.
About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set-up. The foundation has already established the CPR program in over 700 high schools across Canada. By the end of the 2004-2005 school year, over 700,000 Canadian students will have been trained to date through this program.

The ACT Foundation’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca; Aventis Pharma Inc., a member of the sanofi-aventis Group; and Pfizer Canada. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the foundation’s national goal of empowering youth to save lives. In Ontario, Hydro One and the Ontario Trillium Foundation are provincial funding partners and the Kiwanis service clubs play a key role as program partners at the community level. For more information visit: www.actfoundation.ca.