Teacher saves child’s life

One winter evening, Sarah, a teacher at Burnett Secondary School, was working at her second job. “I’ve been a waitress for almost ten years. That day I received my very first 100% tip,” she says. The reason being: she saved a life.

Sarah’s first table of the night was a party of seven. One of the children was in the middle of a bite, when he started coughing. Sarah looked over and saw the little boy jump up from his seat and grab on to his collar. “Next thing I know, he starts choking,” remembers Sarah.

Quickly, she placed her tray down and walked over to the table. “I looked at the dad and saw a look of horror on his face that I will never forget,” she says. “His look gave me the permission to take over and help,” she adds.

Pulling the chair out of the way, she grabbed the boy and leaned him forward on her arm. “I started giving him back blows,” Sarah recalls. “My only hope was that everything we had learned in our CPR class a few months before was really going to work.” After the fifth blow, the boy’s body suddenly relaxed. Sarah looked at his face and realized that he was able to breathe again.

The relieved parents thanked Sarah for saving their son’s life. “I felt thankful that I received the training and that I knew what to do,” says Sarah.

“Being CPR trained is vital,” she adds. “I never thought I was going to have to use the skills I learned, but you never know when you may need them.”

The ACT High School CPR and AED Program was set up in Burnett Secondary School in Richmond, BC thanks to the support of community partner, TELUS Vancouver Community Board, provincial partner, BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics and staff, and ACT’s 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 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 3.6 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.

1,800 students to receive lifesaving CPR and defibrillator training

Richmond, BC 09:30 a.m. – Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation and partners will launch the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program in the 10 Richmond public standard secondary schools. More than 1,800 Richmond students will be empowered by their teachers with essential lifesaving skills every year. The media event is being held at the H.J. Cambie Secondary School, 4151 Jacombs Road, Richmond, BC, V6V 1N7.

The ACT Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in secondary schools throughout BC and across Canada. ACT is working in partnership with its provincial partner BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics and staff, lead community partner, TELUS Vancouver Community Board, and health partners AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada, and Sanofi Canada to bring this program to the secondary schools in Richmond.

“This training is a protective factor for our community. This will undoubtedly save lives by giving teachers all the tools and training they need to pass along to their students. Thank you to all who make the delivery of this program possible,” says Hon. Linda Reid, Speaker and MLA for Richmond East.
Funding will see participating secondary schools receive training equipment to enable teachers to train students. This includes Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, AED training mannequins, and program set-up that will see all students graduate with the skills and knowledge to save lives.

“The TELUS Vancouver Community Board is proud to give where we live by supporting this initiative to ensure our next generation of young adults gain critical life-saving skills, which will help build stronger, healthier communities,” says Josh Blair, Vice-Chair of the TELUS Vancouver Community Board and Chief Corporate Officer, TELUS.
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 228 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and approximately 370,000 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,” said Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can enhance the CPR program in Richmond secondary schools with the addition of the defibrillator training 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 1,740 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 3.2 million youth to save lives.

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, Pfizer Canada, and Sanofi Canada.


For further information, please contact:

Nives Scott
Communications Coordinator
ACT Foundation
Tel: 613-729-3455
Toll: 800-465-9111