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Peterborough students to be empowered to save lives

PETERBOROUGH, ON, 30/05/08

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, in partnership with TransCanada Corporation as lead community partner, the Government of Ontario, and other provincial partners (Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Ontario Trillium Foundation), is launching the ACT High School CPR Program in the Peterborough area. The launch will take place May 30, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at Adam Scott Collegiate and Vocational Institute, 175 Langton Street.

More than 4,300 Grade 9 students from 23 high schools in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board will now be empowered to save lives. Sixty physical education teachers have been trained as CPR instructors and will train their students using 735 mannequins donated to schools. The students will take their life-saving skills to their current and future families and to the local community.

“I am very pleased to see a program such as the ACT CPR High School Program implemented in our schools,” says Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal. “It is so important to teach our kids lifesaving skills. I commend everyone on their hard work and dedication for making this program possible.”

The ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. The ACT High School CPR Program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support. Through this model, ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set up. TransCanada Corporation is the lead community partner in the area.

“The health and safety of the public and our employees is one of TransCanada’s top priorities,” says Brian McConaghy, vice-president, TransCanada Community, Safety and Environment. “Because TransCanada does business in the local area, we seized the opportunity to help these young students gain the ability to make a serious contribution to the health and safety of others in their community.”

Eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home. Research indicates that citizen CPR response can improve survival rates by almost fourfold. Empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will increase citizen CPR response rates and save lives over the long term.

“I am excited to be partnered with the ACT Foundation in providing the medical oversight to this important and pioneering program,” says Dr. Vince Arcieri, Medical Director for the Central East Prehospital Care Program. “This program will give students a knowledge base and a skill set to handle potentially life threatening situations in a confident and competent manner.”

The ACT Foundation’s goal is to expand the CPR Program to every high school throughout Ontario. To help make this possible, ACT has secured a provincial commitment of $650,000 from the Government of Ontario. Through this public / private funding model, the Foundation seeks matching funds for program resources at the community level.

“We are pleased to participate in this life-saving initiative, and we sincerely appreciate the support provided by ACT and its partners,” notes Sylvia Terpstra, Director of Education for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.

Provincial partners in Ontario are Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart, and The Ontario Trillium Foundation. The ACT Foundation is taking the Ontario model nation-wide, with the support of its national partners, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis.

“Our secondary school staff and students are benefiting from the generous donation of mannequins, resources and CPR training,” says John Mackle, Director of Education Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board.

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 1,200 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: www.actfoundation.ca.