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Ontario high school students give MPPs a lesson in lifesaving

TORONTO, ON, 18/10/06

October 18, 2006 – Queen’s Park, Committee Room 2, First Floor, West Wing – At 1:00 p.m., the Honorable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education and the Honorable Jim Watson, Minister of Health Promotion, will address MPPs and guests about the importance of youth learning CPR through their high school education. The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation will pair Toronto high school students with MPPs for a lesson in lifesaving.

“I’m proud of our partnership with the ACT Foundation and the work we’ve done, together, to teach young people about the importance of CPR,” said Premier McGuinty. “ACT’s programs help to save lives, and by giving more Ontarians a chance to learn CPR, more lives will be saved in the future.”

This award-winning program is strongly supported by the Government of Ontario, which is helping fund the implementation of high school CPR throughout Ontario. Following the ACT Foundation’s 1994 High School CPR pilot project in Ottawa, the program has become a national model for cities across Canada on the endless value of empowering youth to save lives.

“I would like to commend the ACT Foundation for their excellent efforts to teach young people the vital skills of CPR,” says Minister of Health Promotion, Jim Watson. “Ross Griffith, from my home-town of Ottawa, saved Arnie Swedler’s life because he knew how to administer CPR. Arnie Swedler is alive today because of this skill and the McGuinty Government encourages all students to learn it as well,” says Watson.

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home, learning CPR is important. “Research indicates that citizen CPR can increase survival rates for victims of cardiac arrest by almost fourfold,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. “By establishing the CPR program in high schools, all youth will learn how to save a life and also learn the importance of a heart healthy lifestyle,” says Clarke.

The ACT Foundation is a national, award-winning charitable organization dedicated to promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. The Foundation is driving a national campaign to establish CPR in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for mannequins and teacher training needed by schools for program set-up. High school teachers then teach CPR to their students. To date, more than 600,000 students in approximately 400 Ontario schools have been empowered to save lives.

ABOUT ACT’s PARTNERS:
The success of the ACT High School CPR Program is made possible with the support of the Government of Ontario and ACT provincial program partners Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Ontario Trillium Foundation and community partners like the Kiwanis Club of Toronto.

ACT’s corporate health partners, Canadian companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry, are committed to ACT’s goal of establishing high school CPR throughout Ontario and across Canada. They are: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis.