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One evening in February, Bruno almost skipped the weekly soccer game he plays with his friends. At the last minute, however, he decided to go. “We play indoor soccer, always the same group. It’s a good way to get some exercise,” says Bruno. “We were all on the field having fun when the goalie shouted ‘Joe’s down!’ I looked over and saw him on the ground.”

Bruno ran up to Joe and found him unresponsive and not breathing. While some of the guys called 911, Bruno started CPR. “I started doing chest compressions. I kept pumping on his chest to keep the oxygen flowing through his body.” “Some of the guys did not react, not because they did not want to, but because they did not know what to do,” tells Bruno.

Once the paramedics arrived, Bruno continued the chest compressions until they were ready to take over. Joe regained a pulse after defibrillation, before being transported to the hospital. “Several hours later the doctor came up to me at the hospital and said ‘He is alive because of you’,” shares Bruno, who was very emotional.

“Bruno has been a best friend to me for a very long time, but now he’s like a brother,” tells Joe.

Since the incident, the group of friends took a CPR course together. “It was definitely a life-changing event for everybody. Now that everyone is CPR trained, we are more empowered to react if something like this happens again.”

The ACT High school CPR program was set up in 2008 in Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School where Bruno works as a teacher, thanks to the support of community partner, First Ontario Credit Union, our provincial partners, Government of Ontario, Hydro One and Ontario Trillium Foundation and ACT’s national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada and Amgen Canada.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the award-winning, national charitable organization establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins and teacher training to schools and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. ACT is honoured to be recognized by the Governor General of Canada with the Meritorious Service Cross presented to ACT’s Executive Director Sandra Clarke, and Medical Director and emergency physician Dr Justin Maloney in relation to the ACT High School CPR Program. More than 3.9 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.