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On a winter morning, Mariah, 17, her dad, and brother were driving to school in York, Ontario, when they saw a pedestrian slip on ice, hitting his head on the ground. Immediately, they pulled over and got out of the car.
“He was in and out of consciousness at the time and blood was coming out of his ears. We quickly called 911 and put a blanket over him to keep him warm,” says Mariah who remained calm during the incident.
“It wasn’t long until he regained consciousness. He tried getting up, but we explained to him that the paramedics were on their way and that it was important for him not to move,” she adds.
When the ambulance arrived, Mariah helped the paramedics get their tools out of their bag. “I always had an interest in health studies and having these skills makes me want to pursue health sciences as a career choice,” she says.
“It was a little bit scary being in that situation, but remaining calm and knowing what to do thanks to my CPR classes, gave me an advantage,” shares Mariah, who was trained in CPR by her high school teacher, Ms. Kathryn Dawe.
“As a health and physical education teacher I strongly believe that learning CPR instills confidence when dealing with stressful and life threatening situations. Mariah was clearly able to assess the victim and deliver the appropriate information to the paramedics,” says Ms. Dawe. “Knowing these valuable skills will increase the chances of survival, ensure bystander safety, and create responsible members of the community,” she adds.
The ACT High School CPR and AED program was set up in Thornlea Secondary School in York in partnership with community partners, IBM Canada Ltd, Molise Kleinburg Estates, Nashville Developments Inc., and TransCanada Corporation, provincial partners, the Government of Ontario, and Hydro One, and ACT’s national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada and Amgen Canada.
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR and AED training programs in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins and teacher training to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Over 3.6 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.