Quebec government makes High School CPR mandatory – 500,000 students already trained

Montreal, Quebec – Congratulations to Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, who announced that CPR training will be mandatory for all secondary 3 students throughout Quebec.

The ACT Foundation has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and medical directors around the province since 2006 to set up the CPR training program in all public high schools. This began with an initial commitment from the Health Minister at the time, Dr. Philippe Couillard.

Since that time the ACT Foundation has set up the CPR program in 400 public high schools while urging the Quebec government to make CPR training mandatory at the provincial level to ensure the long-term life of the program.

More than 1,600 teachers have been trained as instructors and these teachers have trained over 500,000 secondary students to date, with 68,000 more trained each year. Many lives have already been saved as a result of this lifesaving program (see link for many rescue stories).

The ACT Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing the high school CPR program throughout Quebec and across Canada. ACT, with the support of its national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada and Amgen Canada, and its community partners have donated more than 11,000 CPR training mannequins to Quebec schools.

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 secondary school education will dramatically increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term and help save many lives.

“We are thrilled that CPR will be mandatory in high schools,” says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “This will ensure the training that we have established in schools through the province will continue over the long term. Students will bring their lifesaving skills to their current and future families, building stronger communities and saving lives.”

The ACT Foundation’s next milestone is working with high schools to add the defibrillator training to the CPR program.

About the ACT Foundation

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing the free CPR and AED program in Canadian high schools. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support. ACT’s Health partners who are committed to bringing the program to Quebec and across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada. To date, the ACT Foundation has set up the CPR Program in more than 1,790 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 3.9 million youth to save lives.

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For more information:

Carole Nadeau
Project Manager (Quebec)
Fondation ACT
Tel.(direct line): 450-587-5141
Toll free (message): 800-465-5553
cnadeau@actfoundation.ca
www.actfoundation.ca

Twitter.com/actfoundation
Instagram.com/theactfoundation
Facebook/theactfoundation
YouTube.com/theactfoundation

Montreal students save teammate’s life with CPR & an AED

One evening in April, Jimmy, 17, and Malik, 16, were playing their weekly game of ball hockey, involving parents, students and other community members, in the gym of a local school in their Montreal neighbourhood.
As Malik was getting ready to leave the gym, he saw one of his teammates, Marc, 47, collapse.

“At first, I didn’t know what was going on, but very quickly we saw his face turn blue and we realized he wasn’t breathing” Malik says.

During that time, Jimmy was in the dressing room unaware of the situation. “My dad ran up to me and asked me to call 911,” he recalls. Jimmy then rushed to the gym to see what was happening. QuoteJimmyandMalik

“As soon as I saw Marc lying on the ground without any vital signs, I panicked. I got the urge to run away, but then I recalled the CPR training I received in high school and knew I needed to do something,” he says.

While the school custodian, Jean-Christophe, who is also the team coach, ran to get the school Automated External Defibrillator (AED), Jimmy and Malik took charge of the situation and quickly started CPR.

“The AED was very easy to use because it told us exactly what to do,” they say. “The instructions given by the AED were extremely helpful during the procedure,” acknowledges Malik.

The two boys continued following the instructions given by the defibrillator, alternating between compressions and defibrillation until the arrival of the paramedics and firefighters.

A week later, during their ball hockey practice, Jimmy and Malik found out that Marc was alive and well.

While Malik recognizes the AED as an essential lifesaving machine, Marc’s wife, Anne-Marie commends the two boys for saving her husband’s life.

“The paramedics told me that what Jimmy and Malik did was paramedic work that day. Thanks to the ACT training they received from their teacher Mrs. Gagnon, we still have my husband by our side. Without that initiative, he would have died,” she says.

“I could have never anticipated that moment, it all happened so quickly,” admits Jimmy. “Having the High School CPR training under my belt gave me the confidence I needed to know what to do and to know how to act. Without it, I wouldn’t have put myself in the midst of the action,” he adds.

The ACT High School CPR program was set up in École secondaire de la Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montreal in 2007 thanks to the support provided by the Government of Quebec. ACT’s health partners supporting the program in Montreal, throughout Quebec and across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing free 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 3.2 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.

Montreal teen saves her friend from choking

No one ever prepares for a birthday dinner with the thought of having to save a life in the back of their mind. Yet, that is exactly the experience Julia, 17, encountered one evening in March.She and a group of friends were having dinner at a restaurant, when one of her friends started coughing. “She grabbed her chest, gasping for air. I looked at her and asked her if she was okay. She couldn’t speak; she was shaking her head as if to say I need help”, recalls Julia.

Being the only one of the group trained in CPR, Julia felt the responsibility to step in and ACT. Remembering the steps she had learned during her high school CPR and AED course, she took the matter into her own hands. She asked her friend to stand up and started giving the abdominal thrusts. After four strong thrusts, Julia’s friend finally gasped for air. “She started breathing again. She turned around and started crying, she was completely in shock. I told her to sit down and to breathe in and out.”

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“Knowing that I’m capable of saving someone’s life made me more confident. I know that if I’m in that situation again, I will have the confidence to ACT,” affirms Julia about the event.

Looking back on her CPR training, Julia acknowledges that it had not only prepared her to act and save her friend’s life, but also that it played a most influential role in the choice of her career. “I will be going to Vanier College to study health sciences. I always enjoyed the sciences, but the CPR training confirmed my decision. It made me want to go through with it.”

The ACT High School CPR program was set up in Julia’s school in Montreal, Quebec in 2006. In 2013 the training program was enhanced with an addition of the defibrillator training component. This initiative was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Government of Quebec and of our national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada who are committed to bringing the program in all Quebec high schools.

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 2.9 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.

Student responds when man collapses at wedding

You never know when a student may use the skills learned in the ACT High School CPR Program – and that is precisely what 17-year-old student Jonathan learned one summer day at his part-time job.

Jonathan was working as a busboy at a Montreal-based hotel, when a woman burst into the hallway screaming for help.

“She looked pretty scared,” said Jonathan, who was then led by the woman to an older man, who had collapsed.

“He wasn’t moving and his mouth was open,” said Jonathan. “So I pushed past a couple of other waiters and tried to wake him up.”

Then, Jonathan said, he quickly realized the man wasn’t breathing.

“I touched his neck to check his pulse and couldn’t find one,” said Jonathan. “So I told the woman who grabbed me to call 911.”

Before Jonathan could begin using the CPR skills he learned two years earlier at LaurenHill Academy in Montreal, a doctor stepped forward and took over.

But what Jonathan did is still an incredible act.

“He had already committed himself,” said Jonathan’s phys-ed teacher, Russell. “He secured the scene, he had the man in the right position, he had the people getting help, and he had the paramedics coming. Everything was correct for when that doctor arrived.”

Russell has been teaching the ACT High School CPR Program since Montreal’s program pilot in 1997.

“I am the number one proponent for this program,” he said. “There can’t be a bigger fan of the ACT High School CPR Program – it is the most important thing they learn in high school.”

“These things happen,” he said. “Life presents these situations to you, and you need to be able to relax, go back to your training and act. This is what I teach.”

Russell said that he and his colleagues are very proud of Jonathan.

“The moment something like this happens you have to make your decision: you can be a spectator, or you can be a major contributor,” said Russell. “Jonathan was a major contributor.”

The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in LaurenHill Academy thanks to the generous support of ACT’s Quebec provincial partners: J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, McKesson Canada, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, Scotiabank and Sun Life Financial. Mannequins and curriculum resources were donated to the school and the teachers were trained as CPR instructors for their students.

Also responsible are ACT’s core partners, companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s Quebec Program and national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins, teacher training, manuals and other materials to schools and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR to their students as a regular part of the curriculum. More than 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.

Montreal teacher saves colleague from choking

He had no idea he would also be faced with saving the life of a fellow teacher – and friend.

Serge, 34, and teacher Michel, 43, were on the day-long trip with their grade 11 students from LaSalle’s Cavelier-de-LaSalle High School, when they decided to have lunch while waiting for some students to catch up to the group.

“It was a stressful day,” says Michel, who says he was taking big bites of his chicken wrap as he rushed to finish his lunch in case he had to go find the straggling students.

Serge was paying little attention to his friend, until suddenly Michel began making choking sounds. Seeing Serge’s concern, Michel signalled to him that he was fine and didn’t want any help. “I wasn’t under the impression that anything was terribly wrong,” says Michel.

Serge remembered the emergency training he and Michel received through the ACT Teacher Training Program in May 2005. The training is designed to give teachers basic CPR and other lifesaving skills (including the Heimlich Manoeuvre) so that they can instruct their students.

Serge stayed close to monitor the situation. He knew things could escalate.

And they did.

Michel’s face turned very pale and then red as he tried to force the piece of food out of his throat. When he turned blue and stopped making noises, Serge knew he had to act.

His friend’s airway was completely blocked.

“I was telling myself ‘he’s OK.’, but when he stopped breathing and making sounds, I knew I had to do something,” says Serge. “I simply told myself, he’s in trouble and I need to help him.”

Serge began performing the Heimlich Manoeuvre. Thanks to his training, he had the confidence not to hesitate. “I told myself, I’m either going to get the piece out or break a rib, but I have to do something,” he says. Nothing changed after several thrusts, but Serge was not discouraged. With one final blow, the piece of food flew out of Michel’s mouth.

“If I hadn’t received the ACT program, I might not have been able to help,” says Serge.

Knowing he helped to save his friend’s life has touched Serge. “I didn’t feel any different at the time of the incident but I was very emotional afterwards,” he explains. “Michel is my good friend.”

Once the sandwich was dislodged from Michel’s throat, he was completely fine. The remaining students caught up with the group shortly afterwards and everyone returned safely to the school.

The incident has helped both teachers realize firsthand the value of the ACT High School CPR Program. “We’re simply giving youth basic skills so that they can help someone in distress,” says Serge.

Adds Michel: “Having CPR training in schools is an excellent idea. Can it save lives? It certainly can.”

The ACT High School CPR Program is made possible Cavelier-de-LaSalle High School thanks to the generous provincial-level support of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, and Sun Life Financial, as well as community-level partners. This support enables the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources for high schools.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins, teacher training, manuals and other materials to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR to their students as a regular part of the curriculum. Over 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.

Core partners supporting the program in Quebec and throughout Canada are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.

Physical education teacher saves father’s life

Bill has been teaching CPR to his students at Montreal’s Argyle Academy since 1997. Until ACT brought the course to his high school, Bill had never taken CPR. But he is glad he did, because in February 1999, Bill had to put his skills to work when his 84-year-old father collapsed in cardiac arrest.

The pair had just finished eating lunch in a Montreal cafeteria when Harry suffered a massive heart attack. Bill acted quickly by performing CPR while bystanders called 911. An ambulance arrived about 5 minutes later with a defibrillator.

Harry never would have survived had his son not initiated CPR. The impact of his own actions is not lost on Bill.

“When I was doing CPR I was nervous because he was so close me,” says Bill, “I felt great afterwards. I saved someone who is very important to his children and grandchildren.”

The ACT High School CPR Program is made possible in Quebec thanks to the generous provincial-level support of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, and Sun Life Financial, as well as community-level partners. This support enables the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources for high schools.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins, teacher training, manuals and other materials to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR to their students as a regular part of the curriculum. Over 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.

Core partners supporting the program in Quebec and throughout Canada are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.

Boy saves father’s life with Heimlich Manoeuvre

“I knew I should pay attention because maybe one day in my life I would use what I learned, but I always thought it would be on a stranger. I never thought it would be on my dad!”

Mark was watching television in his basement last December when his mother called him to hurry upstairs to help his 46-year-old father Joe, who was choking. At first, Mark thought his mother was joking. It wasn’t until a second, more urgent cry from his mother, that Mark realized this was no joke. He rushed upstairs to find his father standing in the kitchen, his face red and his hands at his throat. No sound was coming from his mouth. He couldn’t breathe.

“I was shocked,” Mark recalls. “I thought, ‘This can’t be happening!'”

Despite his shock, Mark sprung into action, performing the Heimlich Manoeuvre, which he had learned in school. A piece of his father’s chicken dinner shot across the room.

“He saved his father’s life,” says Russell, the physical education teacher who taught Mark CPR at Laurenhill Academy in Montreal. “He didn’t think much about it. He acted quickly and when it was over, it was over.”

This is the first rescue performed by one of Russell’s students, but he knows it will not be the last.

“As a physical educator, of all the subjects in all the 24 years that I’ve taught, I find CPR is the best thing I’ve ever taught my students. They’re learning something they need and want to learn.”

The ACT High School CPR Program is made possible at Laurenhill Academy thanks to the generous provincial-level support of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, and Sun Life Financial, as well as community-level partners. This support enables the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources for high schools.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins, teacher training, manuals and other materials to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR to their students as a regular part of the curriculum. Over 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.

Core partners supporting the program in Quebec and throughout Canada are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.