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October 8, 2003: — The ACT High School CPR Program received a tremendous boost with the results of a large-scale study highlighting the importance and need for more citizens trained in CPR. The study, published in the October 7th, 2003 edition of Circulation: Journal of American Heart Association, reports the rate of cardiac arrest victims who receive citizen CPR is as low as 14% in many North American communities. The study also calls for local and national initiatives that “should vigorously promote the practice of bystander CPR.”

This study underscores the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada’s goal to see every Canadian trained in CPR through its national high school CPR campaign.

“You can have the best emergency medical service system in the world, but without a strong citizen CPR presence in the community, many needless deaths will still occur,” says Sandra Clarke, Executive Director of the ACT Foundation.

Since launching the ACT High School CPR Program in 1994, 500,000 Canadian youth have been empowered with the skills and knowledge to save a life. Through the program, students are 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 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, teacher training and resources needed by schools. The ACT High School CPR Program already exists in over 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-intensive pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma, and Pfizer Canada.