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Celebrating CPR month through the launch of high school CPR program

Olds – Wednesday, November 20th, 2002 at 10:00 a.m., Olds Junior Senior High School, 5122-48th Street, Olds — Today, the ACT Foundation, the Kiwanis Club Olds, the STARS Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in Chinook’s Edge. This initiative will result in 800 Grade 10 students from eleven high schools from the Chinook’s Edge 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.

This event is the fourth in the ACT Foundation’s five-city tour of Southern Alberta, launching the program in Brooks, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Chinook’s Edge and Red Deer in celebration of CPR month.

In November 2000, Alberta’s Minister of Learning, Dr. Lyle Oberg, announced that CPR would become a regular part of the high school curriculum, assuring all high school students graduate with the skills and knowledge to save a life. The ACT Foundation is working in partnership with Alberta Learning to bring CPR to the province’s schools. In one year alone, the ACT Foundation has implemented the high school CPR program in almost 100 Alberta high schools, reaching 22,000 students in the 2002-2003 school year. Province-wide implementation will see over 45,000 high school students trained in CPR every year.

“I am proud to say that Alberta’s students are becoming equipped with the tools to help save a person’s life in the critical moments of an emergency situation,” says Dr. Oberg. “Grade 10 students in Alberta are learning the basic CPR skills such as artificial respiration, chest compressions, and the Heimlich Maneuver, that will empower them to ‘act’ in an emergency.”

Community partnership is key to the success of the ACT High School CPR Program. As such, ACT has brought together the Kiwanis Club of Olds and the STARS Foundation in order to equip schools with the mannequins, student manuals 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. Mountain View Emergency Services is providing medical direction for the program.

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 Chain of Survival begins at the moment a patient’s illness or injury occurs. The first link must be strong, durable and talented. The ACT High School CPR Program builds that link and we at STARS are proud to play a role,” says Dr. Greg Powell, CEO of the STARS Foundation. As founding provincial partner of the ACT High School CPR Program, the STARS Foundation has committed $159,000 to help implement the program throughout Alberta.

Schools embrace the program with enthusiasm. “The skills our students will learn are an excellent preparation for life,” says Jim Gibbons, Superintendent of Chinook’s Edge School Division. “The skills being taught will ensure our students face critical situations throughout their lives with knowledge and confidence.”

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 several hundred schools in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta. 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, Bayer Healthcare, Pfizer Canada and Pharmacia Canada.