Port McNeill, BC, June 23, 2016 – Today, School District No. 85 Vancouver Island North teachers 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 over 100 students from North Island and Port Hardy 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, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada, and Sanofi Canada to bring this program to Vancouver Island North 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’ Education Officer and Paramedic, Teresa White, who is volunteering her time to teach the workshop.
“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 228 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and more than 370,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.
“Each and every year the ACT Foundation’s CPR and AED program will enable approximately 44,000 students to gain the information, skills and confidence to save lives. These skills will assist them to help others throughout the rest of their lifetime. An investment worth our efforts,” says Dr. William Dick, Interim Vice President, Medical Programs of BCEHS.
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,” says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can implement the CPR and AED program in the communities of Port McNeill and Port Hardy. 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 1,700 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 3.2 million youth to save lives.
Vancouver Island North School District Snapshot:
• 2 secondary schools to implement the CPR and AED Program
• Over 100 students will now be trained in both CPR and how to use a defibrillator each year
• 50 training mannequins donated
• 6 defibrillator training units donated
• Communities included: Port McNeill and Port Hardy
• Participating Secondary Schools from School District No. 85 Vancouver Island North:
North Island and Port Hardy secondary schools
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 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, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada.
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