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Posted: May 25, 2017

Local students learn to save lives

Teachers from school districts No. 5 Southeast Kootenay and No. 6 Rocky Mountain have been trained as instructors to empower students with CPR and defibrillator skills, as well as heart health knowledge, through the award-winning ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program. This training will result in more than 400 students from School District No. 5’s Mount Baker Secondary School, and from School District No. 6’s David Thompson and Selkirk secondary schools graduating with the skills and the knowledge to save lives.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools throughout BC and across Canada. ACT is working in partnership with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics and staff, RBC, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada to bring this program to the three secondary schools.

Thanks to the support of our partners, the secondary schools are receiving training mannequins, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, curriculum materials and program set-up. Today’s teacher training is being provided by BCEHS’ Paramedic, Kim McKeown, who volunteered her time to teach the workshop.

“At RBC, we believe the health and wellness of local communities is of vital importance,” says Graham Longpre RBC Branch Manager, 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. 5 Southeast Kootenay and No. 6 Rocky Mountain 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.

“We are proud to be a national partner with the ACT Foundation—helping students not only to learn life-saving skills and embrace responsibility, but also enhancing their understanding of the science behind CPR,” said Dr. Clive Ward-Able, Executive Medical Director at Amgen Canada. “We strongly believe in encouraging and inspiring young talent and in helping students reach their potential.”

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 236 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and more than 415,000 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,” says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can implement the CPR and AED Program in the communities of Cranbrook, Invermere, and Kimberley. 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 1,755 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 3.6 million youth to save lives.

Above photo: Dan Loewen, a teacher at Mount Baker Secondary School, being trained as a CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) instructor for his students.

The ACT Foundation 

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