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ACT Foundation and FirstOntario Credit Union partner to bring lifesaving CPR training to Hamilton youth

HAMILTON, ON, 13/11/07

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is pleased to announce that FirstOntario Credit Union is partnering with ACT to bring lifesaving CPR training to youth in Hamilton high schools.

FirstOntario is donating nearly $44,000 as the lead community partner supporting implementation of the ACT High School CPR Program in all Hamilton-area schools. Thanks to this support, over 6,600 local youth from nearly 30 schools will be empowered with the skills and knowledge to save a life each year. The program will officially kick off in the city’s schools in early 2008.

“We are thrilled with FirstOntario’s support as a lead community partner,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. “Without their important contribution, the program in Hamilton would not be possible.”

The ACT High School Program is driven by a strong community-based model of partnerships and support. ACT fundraises at the community level to donate the mannequins, the training for teachers to become CPR instructors for their students, and the curriculum resources schools need to set up the program. FirstOntario Credit Union is playing a key role in this area.

“FirstOntario is honoured to be the lead community partner with The ACT Foundation of Canada for the next three years,” commented Lloyd Smith, Interim President and CEO. “We believe in supporting our community and continual learning is one of our core values as an organization. We’re proud to be working together with ACT to make a difference in the lives of Hamilton area youth with such an important life-saving skill.”

The ACT Foundation’s goal in Ontario is to set up the lifesaving CPR program in every high school. To help make this possible, ACT has secured a provincial-level commitment from the Government of Ontario to enable the Foundation to seek matching funds for program resources at the community level through a public / private funding partnership. Also supporting the program at the provincial level are Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Ontario Trillium Foundation. National partners are AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada, and sanofi-aventis.

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been set up in over 500 Ontario high schools and over 750,000 Ontario students have been empowered to save lives.

Research indicates citizen CPR response can improve survival rate for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by almost fourfold. With eight in 10 out-of-hospital 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.

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. To date over 900,000 youth have been trained in more than 1,000 high schools across Canada. For more information visit:www.actfoundation.ca.

About FirstOntario Credit Union
In business since 1939, FirstOntario Credit Union is a community based credit union with 17 branches serving 11 communities within Greater Hamilton, the Niagara Region and Southwestern Ontario. Like banks, FirstOntario offers a full package of products and services. Profits are reinvested back to Members and in to the communities in which we operate. This is one of our co-operative principles and one of the key differences between banks and credit unions.

Membership is open to anyone living or working in the areas in which the credit union operates. The company serves over 67,000 Members and has over $1.1 billion in assets under administration.