ACT Foundation Aims to Empower Peel-Halton High School Students With Life-Saving Skills

Mississauga, ON, May 12, 2014 – Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation announced its new campaign – Skills 4 Life: Empowering Peel-Halton Students with Life-Saving CPR and Defibrillator Skills – which aims to raise $350,000 in the Peel-Halton region. The goal? Providing more than 18,000 high school students each year with life-saving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) skills before they graduate.

“Each and every day, many Canadians experience a cardiovascular event. These events can happen anywhere, at any time and immediate response is critical,” said Sandra Clarke, ACT Foundation Executive Director. “Our goal is to empower youth with life-saving skills, so that they can take charge and help in an emergency.”

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, early CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase survival rates for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75 per cent.

“I am a long-time advocate of citizen CPR and defibrillation training,” says campaign co-chair Dr. Dave Williams. “From my university student days as a CPR Instructor, to leading the implementation of an AED program at NASA and taking the first defibrillator into space as an astronaut, I am very proud as President and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre to play a key role in supporting this exciting program for our schools and youth.”

Skills 4 Life: Empowering Peel-Halton Students with Life-Saving CPR and Defibrillator Skills

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that provides free CPR and AED programs to Canadian high schools, with over 2.6 million students trained to date through ACT’s innovative High School CPR Program. It relies on partners and program funders for financial and leadership support.

“With the support of ACT’s partners we have been able to integrate this life-saving program in over 1,600 high schools across Canada, but we aren’t finished yet,” said Clarke. “Our new campaign – Skills 4 Life – aims to set up the program in 70 schools in the Peel-Halton region.”

A founding partner of the ACT program, AstraZeneca Canada has pledged $50,000 in support of the ACT’s new campaign, and is working with the Foundation to help it reach its goal. The Skills 4 Life campaign kicks-off today, May 12, 2014, and will run for 90 days, with a goal of fundraising $350,000 before the start of the 2014/2015 school year. The funding is needed to provide schools with mannequins, AED training units, and teacher training as CPR and AED Instructors, enabling them to deliver the program to students each year.

“As a founding partner, we’re proud to have worked with the ACT Foundation right from the outset of its high school CPR program. We believe in its mission to empower youth with the skills and knowledge to save lives,” said Elaine Campbell, President, AstraZeneca Canada. “At AstraZeneca, we also believe we have an important role to play in helping to build strong, healthy communities by supporting organizations like the ACT Foundation. We are encouraging other businesses across the Peel-Halton Region to help make a difference too, by supporting Skills 4 Life.”

National High School CPR and Defibrillator Program

  • More than 2.6 million Canadian youth in over 1,600 schools across the country have been trained through the ACT High School CPR Program. ACT is now adding defibrillation as an enhancement to the CPR Program already in place in these schools.
  • Over 6,000 teachers in Canada are trained as CPR instructors and ACT has already donated more than 50,000 mannequins to high schools, ensuring 1:1 mannequin / student ratio.

“We have received hundreds of stories where youth have reacted quickly and taken the right steps to save lives,” said Clarke. “These are incredibly moving stories of youth who have saved their mother or father, a sister or brother, or even a complete stranger.”

About the ACT Foundation

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and AED programs 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 teacher training that schools need to set up the program. High 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. In Ontario, ACT is working in partnership with the Ontario government. ACT’s health partners who are committed to bringing the program to the Peel-Halton region and to high schools across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi.

About AstraZeneca Canada’s Partnership with ACT

As a founding partner of the ACT Foundation, AstraZeneca has committed more than $2 million since the Foundation’s inception in 1985 as a core and sustaining partner. The company’s important commitment is further reflected in its role as a board member of the Foundation. Along with the Foundation’s national health partners Sanofi and Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca continues to honour its commitment to ACT’s efforts across Canada through financial support and ongoing guidance.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. The company’s Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario.

As part of AstraZeneca’s commitment to improving the health and quality of life of Canadians, the company collaborates with community-based organizations in three key areas – to stimulate an interest in science among Canadian youth, strengthen capabilities and capacity within our healthcare system, and improve the mental and emotional well-being of disconnected and vulnerable youth ages 10 to 19 through AstraZeneca’s Young Health Program. For more information on AstraZeneca please visit: www.astrazeneca.ca.

RBC Helps ACT Foundation Bring Defibrillator Program to Campbell River School District Secondary Schools

Today, nine teachers from School District #72 Campbell River 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 Timberline Secondary School, will result in over 400 students trained annually by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills.

Campbell River, BC, April 22, 2014 – Today, nine teachers from School District #72 Campbell River 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 Timberline Secondary School, will result in over 400 students trained annually by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is working in partnership with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) and community partners to bring this program to Campbell River.

Thanks to a donation from RBC, the public secondary schools in School District #72 Campbell River will each receive AED training mannequins, AED training units, curriculum materials 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 Matthijs Bruining, RBC Branch Manager, Campbell River. “We are proud to be long-time supporters of the ACT Foundation and are thrilled to be the community partners bringing CPR and AED training to School District # 72 Campbell River 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 Carihi and Timberline Secondary Schools will participate in today’s workshop in Campbell River 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 223 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and approximately 281,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.

The ACT Foundation is working with the BC Emergency Health Services 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.

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 Campbell River 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 #72 Campbell River

The two (2) public secondary schools participating in today’s workshop in Campbell River are to receive:

  • 2 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs);
  • 8 AED training units;
  • 8 AED training mannequins.

This initiative will result in:

  • Nine (9) teachers trained as CPR and AED instructors for their students; and
  • Over 400 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.