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AB, 26/02/09

CALGARY, Alberta – The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is thrilled to announce that this year 12,000 Grade 10 students in Calgary will be empowered to save lives thanks to the continuous support from the Kiwanis Clubs of Calgary.

In 2001, the Kiwanis Clubs of Calgary (Chinook, Northmount, Metro, Downtown and Foothills) took the lead by helping establish the ACT High School CPR Program in the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Roman Catholic School Board. This was done in partnership with the ACT Foundation, Alberta Education, Calgary EMS and the STARS Foundation.

Recently, the Kiwanis Clubs donated an additional $20,000 to replenish training mannequins for 33 Calgary high schools. Thanks to the ongoing support of the Kiwanis Clubs of Calgary, more than 65, 000 Calgary youth have been trained to save a life through the ACT High School CPR Program.

On Thursday, Feb. 26, the ACT Foundation invites media to attend the celebration of Heart Month and the ACT High School CPR program in Calgary. At this event, students will demonstrate the lifesaving CPR skills they have learned in a dramatic re-enactment of an emergency situation.

“Kiwanis Clubs of Calgary serve the needs of the community where its members live and work. This program empowers young people to assume responsibility and save lives. Everyone in the community benefits,” says Murray Smith, Chair of the Kiwanis Committee for the ACT High School CPR Program. “One never knows – the life saved may be yours.”

Eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home and research indicates that citizen CPR can improve survival rates by almost fourfold.

“The Chain of Survival begins at the moment a patient’s illness or injury occurs. The first link must be strong, durable and talented,” says Dr. Greg Powell, President and CEO, STARS Foundation, a founding provincial partner. “The ACT High School CPR Program builds that link and we at STARS are proud to play a role.”

Community partnerships are key to the success of the ACT program. The Calgary Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department supports the program by training high school teachers as CPR instructors for their students. The STARS Foundation is a major founding partner of the ACT Program throughout Alberta.

The ACT Foundation is a national, award-winning charitable organization dedicated to promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. ACT’s national partners are AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s goal of establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school.

“We are thrilled with the support of ACT’s partners. Without them, the program would not be possible,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke.

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