Port Alberni, BC, May 15, 2017 – Today, teachers from School District No. 70 Alberni will be trained as instructors to empower students with CPR and defibrillator skills, as well as heart health knowledge, through the award-winning ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program. This training will result in more than 250 students from Alberni District and Ucluelet secondary schools graduating with the skills and the knowledge to save lives.
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools throughout BC and across Canada. ACT is working in partnership with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics and staff, RBC, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada to bring this program to the two secondary schools.
Thanks to the support of our partners, the secondary schools are receiving training mannequins, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, curriculum materials and program set-up. Today’s teacher training is being provided by BCEHS’ Paramedic, Kim McKeown, who is volunteering her time to teach the workshop.
“At RBC, we believe the health and wellness of local communities is of vital importance,” says Tyler Robinson RBC Branch Manager, Royal Bank of Canada. “We are proud to be long-time supporters of the ACT Foundation and thrilled to be the community partner bringing CPR and AED training to School District No. 70 Alberni secondary 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 high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.
“As a founding partner of the ACT Foundation, we have proudly watched this program expand to communities from coast to coast. Not only are youth learning critical skills that stay with them for a lifetime, they also gain an appreciation of the science behind the techniques and, in some cases, go on to pursue careers in such areas as nursing, medicine, and emergency services,” says Ed Dybka, President and CEO, AstraZeneca Canada.
To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 236 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and more than 415,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.
“Our front-line paramedics and dispatchers know bystander CPR saves lives. That’s why we’re so invested in helping to prepare future generations on how to help someone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest,” says BCEHS Vice-President Medical Programs, Dr. William Dick. “Every year, through the ACT Foundation’s CPR and AED program approximately 44,000 BC students gain the information, skills, and confidence to help save lives. These skills will assist them to help others throughout the rest of their lives.”
Early CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75% according to Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“We are thrilled with the support from our partners,” says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can implement the CPR and AED Program in the communities of Port Alberni and Ucluelet. 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 1,755 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 3.6 million youth to save lives.
School District No. 70 Alberni Snapshot:
• 2 secondary schools to implement the CPR and AED Training Program
• More than 250 students will now be trained in both CPR and how to use a defibrillator each year
• 19 defibrillator training mannequins donated
• 6 defibrillator training units donated
• Communities to receive the program are: Port Alberni and Ucluelet
• Participating Schools: Alberni District Secondary School and Ucluelet Secondary School
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, whereby ACT finds local partners who donate the mannequins and AED training 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 partners who are committed to bringing the program to British Columbia are BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and our national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada.
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