Skip to main content


Tuesday, May 13th, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. — Rotunda, Manitoba Legislative Building, 450 Broadway, Winnipeg: Today, the ACT Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in Winnipeg. This initiative will result in 1,850 Grade 10 students from 8 high schools from the St. James School Division and River East Transcona School Division being empowered to save lives with CPR training. The four-hour CPR course will be taught to all Grade 10 students by their physical education teachers every year.

Community partnership is key to the success of the ACT High School CPR Program. ACT has brought together the Kiwanis Club of East Kildonan and the Kiwanis Club of St. James in order to equip schools with the mannequins and teacher training required to deliver the CPR program to students. St. John Ambulance, as the teacher training partner, trains the high school teachers as CPR instructors for the program. The Winnipeg Free Press donates the printing of the student manuals.

“The Kiwanis Club of East Kildonan is excited to be involved with ACT in the High School CPR Program. This is such a win-win project. Our Kiwanis club provides the funds, the River East Transcona School Division provides the teachers and the students learn the life skill of being able to save a life,” adds Lawrie McCaffrey, President of the Kiwanis Club of East Kildonan. “As a service club we are always looking for good programs to support the community. ACT’s high school CPR program is an excellent fit since it especially focuses on youth, which is a priority to our club. We feel that the CPR program is one of the finest projects we have supported.”

Peter Kilcollins, President of the Kiwanis Club of St. James, adds, “For over 50 years the Kiwanis Club of St. James has worked very closely with the schools in our area. It is a great opportunity to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile program that will benefit the students as well as the community.”

Paramedics in Winnipeg respond and provide treatment to over 500 cardiac arrests each year. Through the ACT High School CPR Program, students will be prepared to respond in an emergency and provide lifesaving care until paramedics arrive. They will be armed with the skills and knowledge to help a parent or grandparent should they experience a heart attack, a brother, sister or child they are babysitting should they choke, or a friend involved in a drowning emergency.

“This program is extremely popular among youth,” says Sandra Clarke, Executive Director of the ACT Foundation. “The hands-on CPR skill component gets their attention and also offers a ‘teachable moment’ for risk factor education and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, a valuable partner in this initiative, is providing medical direction for the program. “When dealing with emergency medical responses, it is readily apparent that the earlier the problem is addressed, the better the chances of survival,” says Dr. Linda Nugent, Medical Director. “That is why the Fire Paramedic Service firmly believes in and supports any program that places lifesaving skills in the hands of trained and capable people. Students who participate in the CPR program are committing to providing medical help to those in urgent need, and are also assisting paramedics and firefighters with their emergency medical responses.”

Schools embrace the program with enthusiasm. “Schooling today is very rich and goes beyond the four walls of the classroom, and partnerships have become a necessity in order for the entire community to grow and prosper now and into the future,” says John Carlyle, Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer for the River East Transcona School Division. “It is a pleasure to have worked with many others to bring the ACT High School CPR Program into the River East Transcona high schools where, in conjunction with our physical education/health education curriculum, we are enabling our young adults to become proficient at a life skill that is rooted in a love and respect for others.”

Dorothy Y. Young Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division says, “We are pleased to be part of this partnership. It is difficult for one partner to accomplish this alone. What students learn from this in the new physical education and health curriculum will help them develop skills for life. Our teachers are to be commended for their efforts in promoting healthy lifestyles and training the students in these lifesaving skills.”

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as required learning in every Canadian high school. ACT works in partnership with health professionals, service clubs, government and the community to help school boards establish the program. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins and resources needed by schools. The ACT High School CPR Program already exists in 500 high schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut. ACT’s corporate health partners are committed to ACT’s cross-Canada expansion of the program. They are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma and Pfizer Canada.