Comox, BC 10:00 a.m. – Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation and partners will launch the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program in the three public secondary schools of School District No. 71 Comox Valley. More than 500 students from the communities of Comox and Courtenay will be empowered by their teachers with essential lifesaving skills every year. The media event is being held at the Highland Secondary School, 750 Pritchard Rd, Comox, BC, V9M 3S8.
The ACT Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in secondary schools throughout BC and across Canada. ACT is working in partnership with its provincial partner 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 the Comox and Courtenay secondary schools.
“With an AED there is better chance of saving the life of someone experiencing cardiac arrest. Training our young people to properly respond to these emergencies is a significant step in making our communities safer places, and I’m glad we are getting so many students to participate in this program,” says Don McRae, MLA for Comox Valley.
Funding will see participating secondary schools receive training equipment to enable teachers to train students. This includes 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.
“At RBC, we believe the health and wellness of local communities is of vital importance,” says Colleen Sawyer, Branch Manager, Comox Valley, Royal Bank of Canada. “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 No. 71 Comox Valley 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.
“As a founding partner of the ACT Foundation, we have proudly watched this program expand to communities from coast to coast. Not only are youth learning critical skills that stay with them for a lifetime, they also gain an appreciation of the science behind the techniques and, in some cases, go on to pursue careers in such areas as nursing, medicine, and emergency services,” says Ed Dybka, President and CEO, AstraZeneca Canada.
To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 228 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and approximately 370,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.
“Our front-line paramedics and dispatchers know bystander CPR saves lives. That’s why we’re so invested in helping to prepare future generations on how to help someone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest,” says BCEHS Vice-President Medical Programs, Dr. William Dick. “Every year, through the ACT Foundation’s CPR and AED program approximately 44,000 BC students gain the information, skills, and confidence to help save lives. These skills will assist them to help others throughout the rest of their lives.”
Early CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75% according to 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 Comox Valley School District secondary schools with the addition of the defibrillator training 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 1,740 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 3.2 million youth to save lives.
About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing the free 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.
For further information, please contact: