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Brooks – Friday, November 15th, 2002 at 10:00 a.m., Brooks Composite High School, 650-4 Avenue East — Today, the ACT Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Brooks & District, the STARS Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in Brooks. This initiative will result in all Grade 10 students from six high schools from the Grasslands Regional Division and Christ the Redeemer Catholic Separate Regional Division being empowered to save lives with CPR training. The four-hour CPR course will be taught to Grade 10 students by their physical education teachers every year.

The ACT Foundation is working in partnership with Alberta Learning to implement CPR training in the province’s schools. Alberta’s Minister of Learning, Dr. Lyle Oberg will be on-site to assist in launching the high school CPR program in Brooks.

“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.”

This event kicks off the ACT Foundation’s five-city tour of Southern Alberta, launching the program in Brooks, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Mountain View County and Red Deer in celebration of CPR month. In November 2000, Dr. Oberg announced that CPR would become a part of the high school curriculum assuring all high school students graduate with the skills and knowledge to save a life. The ACT Foundation has rallied the support of community partners, and in one year alone, has implemented the high school CPR program in almost 100 Alberta high schools, reaching 21,000 students in the 2002-2003 school year. Province-wide implementation will see over 45,000 high school students trained in CPR every year.

Community partnership is key to the success of the ACT High School CPR Program. As such, ACT has brought together the Kiwanis Club of Brooks & District, the STARS Foundation and the Brooks & District Ambulance Association in order to equip schools with the mannequins and teacher training required enabling high school teachers to deliver the CPR program to students. The Brooks & County Chronicle donates the printing of the student manuals.

The Kiwanis Clubs of Brooks and the STARS Foundation have donated 65 mannequins to schools. “One of the primary goals of Kiwanis is to work with youth in the community,” says Lionel Jus, President of the Kiwanis Club of Brooks & District.

The Brooks & District Ambulance Association is a valuable partner in the ACT High School CPR Program, training high school teachers as CPR instructors for the program. “The additional benefits of having informed, trained first responders within the community for the variety of emergency situations covered by the CPR course, is self evident,” says Dr. Gordon Holton, Director of EMS for the Brooks EMS Department.

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. “Grasslands Public Schools holds as one of its founding beliefs that education is an investment in the future. We are proud to be a partner with ACT and our local stakeholders to provide this essential and vital training to Grasslands students.” says Jo-Lee Godfrey, Vice-Chair of the Grasslands Regional Division. St. Joseph’s Collegiate of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Separate Regional Division will also begin the program next semester.

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 this lifesaving program. They are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma, Bayer Healthcare, Pfizer Canada and Pharmacia Canada.