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Carleton Place, Ontario – Monday March 1, 2004 — The ACT Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in Lanark-Carleton today. This initiative will result in 2,500 Grade 9 students from 12 area high schools from four different school boards being empowered to save lives with CPR training, this year alone. The four-hour CPR course will be taught to all Grade 9 students by their physical education teachers each year as a core unit in the curriculum.

Community partnership is key to the success of the ACT High School CPR Program. As such, Lanark-Carleton Member of Parliament, Scott Reid, is donating his annual salary increase to equip schools with the resources and teacher training required to deliver the CPR program to the schools in his constituency.

“It’s wonderful to be a part of this program,” says Reid. “CPR training will do more to save lives in our community than anything else I can think of.”

Through the ACT High School CPR Program, students will be prepared 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.

The Regional Base Hospital of Southeastern Ontario, as the teacher training partner, trains the high school teachers as CPR instructors for the program and provides valuable medical direction.

“Ambulance response times are longer in the country. It’s all the more important for folks to be able to look after each other” says Dr. Justin Maloney, Medical Director of the Base Hospital Program for Ottawa-Carleton. “Kids learning CPR is critical. It’s the heart of any first aid program.”

Today’s events mark the first-time implementation launch of the ACT High School CPR Program in the communities of Almonte, Carleton Place, Smith Falls, West Carleton, and Dunrobin; it also marks a topping-off of much needed resources for high schools in the communities of Perth and Kanata. Schools receiving the program represent the Upper Canada District School Board, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic District School Board. The schools are receiving their training and classroom resources and are excited to begin delivering the program to their students. Teachers, students, parents, and school board officials embrace the program with enthusiasm.

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa and the Ottawa Citizen helped launch the original ACT High School CPR Program pilot in 1994 within Ottawa-Carleton, by donating the mannequins, teacher training, and printing of the classroom resources. The Kiwanis Club of Perth subsequently donated the necessary resources to its two local schools in 2002.

About ACT
The ACT Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program setup. ACT’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma and Pfizer Canada. The ACT High School CPR Program already exists in 600 high schools in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nunavut. To date, over 500,000 students from across Canada have been trained in CPR through this program.