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NORTH BAY, ON, 18/05/07

Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, in partnership with the North Bay Professional Paramedics Association (NBPPA), and the Ontario government and other key provincial partners (Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Ontario Trillium Foundation), is launching the ACT High School CPR Program in North Bay. The launch will take place at 10:00 a.m. at École secondaire catholique Algonquin, 555 Algonquin Ave. Schools from the Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord, Near North District School Board and Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board are embracing this award-winning program. Seven hundred fifty (750) Grade 9 students from five high schools will be empowered to save lives every year. Seventeen physical education teachers have been trained as CPR instructors and will train their students using the 115 mannequins donated to their schools. The students will then take their life-saving skills to their communities, which include: Mattawa, North Bay, South River and Sturgeon Falls.

“By teaching this program in high schools, we’re spreading the word to even more people,” says Marc Picard, Secretary and Treasurer of the NBPPA, the key community-level partner helping to bring the CPR Program to North Bay. “These students are going to take this information home with them and in the long run, possibly have an impact on their entire family’s health.” EMS Week in Ontario kicks off on Sunday making today’s launch a timely one.

Research indicates citizen CPR response can improve survival rate for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by almost fourfold. With eight in 10 cardiac arrests occurring at home, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

“In the immediate North Bay area we have over 50 people per year that unexpectedly collapse and need prompt CPR. These people will have no chance of survival if there is no one trained and willing to immediately respond and utilize their CPR skills,” says Dr. David Henstridge, Medical Director of North Bay General Hospital and Medical Director for the ACT High School CPR Program in the North Bay area. “As a result of the ACT Foundation’s commitment, our participating high school students are now equipped to provide this important life-saving skill.”

The ACT High School CPR Program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support. Funding in North Bay is made possible by the North Bay Professional Paramedics Association and the Ontario government. “Providing local students with practical knowledge on how to save lives will certainly pay big dividends to all residents of Nipissing,” says Monique Smith, Nipissing MPP. “The McGuinty Government is pleased to be a major partner in this initiative.”

Six schools in the North Bay area already offer CPR training to their students. Through support from ACT’s community, provincial and core partners, CPR training will now be extended to all North Bay area schools. Sixteen hundred (1,600) Grade 9 students will be trained in CPR every year.

The ACT Foundation’s goal in Ontario is to expand the CPR program to every high school throughout the province. To help make this possible, ACT has secured a commitment of $650,000 from the Ontario government through its public / private funding partnership. The Foundation seeks matching funds for program resources at the community level. “We are thrilled with the support of ACT’s partners. Without them, the North Bay program would not be possible,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke.

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program is in over 400 Ontario high schools and over 600,000 Ontario students have been empowered to save lives.

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is a national, award-winning charitable organization dedicated to promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. ACT is driving a national campaign to establish CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set up. The Foundation has already established the CPR program in over 900 high schools across Canada and over 900,000 youth have been trained to date. The Foundation and its core partners are winners of Imagine Canada’s “New Spirit of Community Partnership” Award. Core partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. For more information visit: