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Delta, BC 10:00 a.m. – Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, and its supporting partners will officially launch the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Program in the seven public secondary schools of School District No. 37 Delta. Fifteen hundred (1,500) students from the communities of North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen will be empowered by their teachers with essential lifesaving skills every year. The media event will be held at the Sands Secondary School, 10840 – 82 Avenue, Delta, BC, V4C 2B3.

The ACT Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools throughout BC and across Canada. ACT is working in partnership with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics and staff, lead community partner RBC, and health partners AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada to bring this program to Delta School District secondary schools. Other community partners also include Ausenco, Triwest Mechanical Ltd., Unitech Construction Management Ltd. and Westshore Terminals.

“This initiative will undoubtedly save lives by giving teachers all the tools and training they need to pass along to their students,” said Delta North MLA, Wm. Scott Hamilton. “Young people in Delta and elsewhere will be empowered with the skills, knowledge and equipment they need to increase survival rates.”

Funding will see participating secondary schools receive training equipment to enable teachers to train students including Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, AED training mannequins, and program set-up that will see all students graduate with the skills and knowledge to save lives. Secondary schools will also receive, as needed, a defibrillator for on-site cardiac arrest emergencies.

“At RBC, we believe the health and wellness of local communities is of vital importance,” said Jennifer Cabeldu, RBC Royal Bank Manager, Donations, Brand and Communications, BC Region. “We are proud to be long-time supporters of The ACT Foundation and thrilled to be the community partner bringing CPR and AED training to School District # 68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith Secondary Schools.”

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

“Seeing the expansion of ACT to more schools across Canada is a source of great pride for Sanofi Canada, a founding partner in the program,” says Niven Al-Khoury, President and CEO of Sanofi Canada. “ACT’s CPR and AED program is unique to Canada and renders a critical service to our healthcare system and services.”

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 226 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and approximately 281,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.

“Each and every year the ACT Foundation’s CPR and AED program will enable approximately 44,000 students to gain the information, skills and confidence to save lives. These skills will assist them to help others throughout the rest of their lifetime. An investment worth our efforts,” said Dr. William Dick, Interim Vice President, Medical Programs of BCEHS.

Early CPR, combined with early defibrillation, can increase survival rates for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75%, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the support from our partners,” said Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can enhance the CPR program in the Delta School District secondary schools with the addition of the defibrillator component. These are lifesaving skills that students will be able to bring to their current and future families and communities.”

To date, the ACT Foundation has set up the ACT High School CPR Program in more than 1,700 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 2.9 million youth to save lives.

About the ACT Foundation

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing the CPR and AED program in Canadian high schools. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners who donate the mannequins and AED training units that schools need to set up the program. Secondary school teachers then teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator to their students as a regular part of the curriculum, reaching all youth prior to graduation. ACT’s partners who are committed to bringing the program to British Columbia are BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and our national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada.