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ACT Programs

High School CPR and Defibrillator Program

Knowing CPR means knowing how to save lives. The goal of the High School CPR and Defibrillator Program is to ensure that all youth graduate with the skills and knowledge to save lives.

The ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Program:

  • Teaches CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as a life-skill.
  • Empowers students with lifesaving skills they take to their present and future families and communities.
  • Teaches youth how to take charge and help in an emergency, teaching leadership, civic responsibility, and building self-esteem.
  • Reaches 100% of youth where set up.
  • Is a self-sustaining program that schools maintain over the long-term.

  • According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada. That is one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes. Without rapid and appropriate treatment, most of these cardiac arrests will result in death.
  • 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. However, current survival rates are low because most people don’t know CPR or how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)—a small, easy-to-use device with voice prompts that can tell when a heart stops beating effectively and can deliver an electric shock to help restart the heart.
  • With most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring in homes or public places, early recognition of a cardiac emergency, early access to medical help (calling 9-1-1), early citizen CPR, and early defibrillation are critical to saving lives. The High School CPR and Defibrillator Program empowers youth with these lifesaving skills so they know how to react in an emergency.

  • Through the ACT High School CPR Program, all students learn the 4 Rs of CPR:

    • RISK factors for cardiovascular disease and the importance of adopting a heart healthy lifestyle;
    • How to RECOGNIZE a developing medical emergency;
    • How to REACT, by calling 9-1-1 quickly and how to help while waiting for the ambulance to arrive; and,
    • How to RESUSCITATE, or perform CPR.

  • The ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Program is based on a successful community-based model of partnerships and support that makes the Program FREE for all high school students:

    • Schools commit to a long-term, self-sustaining program.
    • Training resources are donated to schools. These include durable mannequins, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, teacher training, and curriculum materials.
    • High school teachers are trained as CPR and AED instructors and teach students as a regular part of the curriculum.
    • The Program is easy to set up and maintain over the long-term.

List of Schools

The ACT Foundation has established the High School CPR Program in over 1,600 high schools across Canada, and is now enhancing the CPR Program with defibrillator training.

Click the map to learn about the status of the ACT High School CPR Program in a province and to see the list of schools in which the Program has been established.