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Penticton, BC,February 5, 2015–Today, ten teachers from School District # 67 Okanagan Skaha will be trained to empower their students with Automated External Defibrillator (AED) skills as an enhancement to the ACT High School CPR Program. This training, to be held at Penticton Secondary School, will result in more than 500 students trained each year by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills.The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is working in partnership with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) and community partners to bring this program to the communities of Penticton and Summerland.Thanks to a donation from TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board, the three public secondary schools in School District # 67 Okanagan Skaha will each receive AED training mannequins, AED training units, curriculum materials as well as an AED for in-school cardiac arrest emergencies in case a student, staff or visiting community member suffers a sudden cardiac arrest at the school.“Our mandate is to empower youth to improve their quality of life,” said Sean Pihl, Chair of the TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board. “CPR and AED training will do just that for the kids in this school district, and it’s our privilege to be a part of this program.”Teachers from Penticton, Princess Margaret and Summerland Secondary Schools will participate in today’s workshop in Penticton to be trained as instructors for their students.The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in Canadian high schools. To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 224 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and over 325,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.ACT is working with BCEHS to enhance the CPR program with defibrillator training and AEDs for public secondary schools throughout British Columbia. ACT’s health partners who are committed to bringing the CPR and AED program to these schools, and to high schools across Canada, are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada.“It’s a privilege to partner in this way with high schools and teachers, who already work so hard to prepare our children to meet life’s challenges and act as responsible citizens,” said John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc. “The ACT program adds an irreplaceable element to the high school experience. For some students, this training might one day make the difference between tragedy and saving a life.”Today’s teacher training is provided by BC Emergency Health Services education officer and paramedic Colin Fitzpatrick, who is volunteering his time to teach the workshop.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. Moreover, 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 Okanagan Skaha 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.Program Numbers in School District # 67 Okanagan SkahaThanks to TELUS, the three (3) public secondary schools are receiving:

  • 3 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs);
  • 12 AED training units;
  • 12 AED training mannequins.

This initiative will result in:

  • Ten (10) teachers trained as CPR and AED instructors for their students; and
  • More than 500 students to learn CPR and AED skills each year.

About the ACT FoundationThe 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, AED training units, and AED 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 health partners who are committed to bringing the program to British Columbia and to high schools across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and