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Thunder Bay students to be empowered to save lives

THUNDER BAY, ON, 21/09/07

Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, in partnership with TransCanada Corporation, and the Government of Ontario and other key provincial partners (Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Ontario Trillium Foundation), is launching the ACT High School CPR Program in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The launch will take place at 10:00 a.m. at Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute, 130 W. Churchill Drive. Schools from the Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales, Lakehead District School Board and Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board are embracing this award-winning program.

One thousand seven hundred (1,700) Grade 9 students from seven high schools will now be empowered to save lives every year. Seventeen physical education teachers have been trained as CPR instructors and will train their students using the nearly 200 mannequins that have been donated to their schools. The students will then take their life-saving skills to the local community.

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. The lead community partner in Thunder Bay is TransCanada Corporation. The company is playing a key role in helping to bring the CPR Program to this community. The print partner for ACT’s High School CPR Student Manuals in Thunder Bay is The Chronicle Journal.

“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.”

Research indicates citizen CPR response can improve survival rate for victims 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.

“We have a highly skilled group of professional paramedics who responded to 134 of these types of events in 2006 and in less then 10 per cent of cases was CPR being done,” says Wayne Gates, Acting Manager, Quality Assurance and Training, Superior North Emergency Medical Services. “By having high school students take this vital and lifesaving training, they can now make a difference and help save a life. Superior North EMS is honoured to be partnered with ACT to help deliver this CPR program.”

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

“I am extremely pleased with all the hard work and dedication the Advanced Coronary Treatment Foundation has publicized in attempts to promote the health and well-being for citizens all across Ontario,” says Michael Gravelle, Community Leader in Thunder Bay. “CPR training for youth is a wonderful initiative and should be taken into serious consideration by the school boards across Northwestern Ontario.”

The ACT Foundation also receives provincial-level funding for the program from Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart, and The Ontario Trillium Foundation, and its national partners are AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis.

“We are thrilled with the support of ACT’s partners. Without them, the Thunder Bay program would not be possible,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke.

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program is in over 400 Ontario high schools and over 600,000 Ontario students have been trained. Nationally, over 1 million students from over 1,000 schools have been empowered to save lives through the CPR Program.

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 1,000 high schools across Canada and over 1 million 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.