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Wednesday, May 14th, 2003 at 9:00 a.m — David C. Wilson Theatre, Vincent Massey High School, 715 McDiarmid Drive, Brandon: Today, the ACT Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in Brandon. This initiative will result in all 650 Grade 10 students from Brandon School Division’s three high schools 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. In order to equip schools with the mannequins and teacher training required to deliver the CPR program to students, ACT has brought on board Kiwanis Club of Brandon. St. John Ambulance, as the teacher training partner, trains the high school teachers as CPR instructors for the program. The Brandon Sun donates the printing of the student manuals.

“For more than 80 years the Kiwanis Club of Brandon has sponsored and supported many projects for the benefit of the people of our community,” says Dr. Austin Gulliver, President of the Brandon Kiwanis Club. “We are very pleased with this opportunity to be involved with the ACT Foundation and other partners in launching the ACT High School CPR Program. This program will provide high school students with the training required to save lives now and as they continue to serve their roles as citizens of our community.”

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.”

Schools embrace the program with enthusiasm. “Our school division is very proud and grateful to be in a significant community-enhancing partnership with the ACT High School CPR Program and the Kiwanis Club of Brandon,” says Dr. Donna M. Michaels, Superintendent of Schools and CEO of the Brandon School Division. “Students in our high schools have an excellent learning opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required in addressing real-life emergencies. This learning is deepened with an understanding that being able to give someone the gift of life through prompt CPR is a contribution to humanity beyond measure. We are solidly committed to the values of public education and as such understand what a significant aspect of individual and communal understanding is provided through this partnership. Similarly we are proud to be the first school division in Manitoba to celebrate this superb partnership.”

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.