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BELLEVILLE, ON – November 22, 2013 – Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation and its supporting partners are pleased to announce the official launch of the ACT High School Defibrillator Training Program in Belleville and area schools.

Each year, more than 1,600 high school students from 11 high schools within the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario will be empowered to save lives through the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program.

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools throughout Canada. ACT raises funds for mannequins and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units for all high schools, and guides schools in program set-up. ACT’s health partners – AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi – provide sustaining funding for the Foundation and are committed to bringing the CPR and defibrillation program to high schools in the Belleville area, as well as across Canada.

ACT’s provincial partners are the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation as an agency of the Government of Ontario, and Hydro One. “This enhancement of the AED program is an important addition to youth CPR training,” said Minister Matthews. “We are empowering youth with the skills and knowledge to save lives, which is an incredible asset to the health of our communities. I commend the ACT Foundation and program partners for their role in making this program a reality.”

“The Ontario Trillium Foundation is proud to see the ACT Foundation’s program continue to grow and reach even more students and teachers,” said Andrea Cohen Barrack, CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. “Investing for impact is one of the Foundation’s main granting objectives and it’s safe to say teaching young people and their teachers how to save a life in an emergency truly fits that description.”

“Hydro One continues to be a proud supporter of the ACT Foundation’s CPR and Defibrillator Training Program”, says John Macnamara, VP, Health, Safety & Environment, Hydro One. “Safety is our priority in everything we do and we feel that it is important to assist in the development of these programs in order to ensure we are helping create safe communities and a safety-focused workforce.”

In the Belleville area, ACT’s lead community partner is Tim Hortons. “This is just one example of entrusting our future to the youth of today,” says Mark Hanley, Owner, Tim Hortons. “We will know that every high school student is trained and more knowledgeable than their elders when it comes to using such an important lifesaving device – the defibrillator. We are very proud to play a small part in that development.”

Together with the support of the Bancroft Lions Club, Kiwanis Club of Trenton, Kiwanis Club of Tweed and Madoc Kiwanis Club, ACT’s partners have donated 52 mannequins, 41 AED training units and teacher training to support this lifesaving program.

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

Four in five out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places. Early CPR, combined with the use of an AED within the first few minutes, can improve survival rates for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75 per cent, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

About the ACT Foundation

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in Canadian high schools. To date, the ACT Foundation has set up the ACT High School CPR Program in more than 1,600 schools nation-wide, empowering more than 2.6 million youth to save lives. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support. ACT’s health partners who are committed to bringing the program to high schools across Canada include AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi.