TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With school back in session, 26,000 more Toronto high school students will be trained this year in lifesaving skills by their teachers as part of their Grade 9 Physical Education and Health curriculum, resulting in a legion of lifesavers at school and in the community.

The ACT Foundation has set up the high school CPR training program in all high schools in both the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Teachers are trained as CPR instructors for their students and empower more than 26,000 students each year, with 450,000 Toronto students trained in CPR to date! ACT is also helping high schools add the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to the CPR program for students through the donation of training equipment to schools and teacher training.  

As a charitable organization, the ACT Foundation is establishing FREE CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools throughout Ontario and across Canada. ACT is working in partnership with community partners, ACT’s provincial partners the Government of Ontario and Hydro One, and health partners AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada to bring this program to Ontario high schools. 

Funding support sees participating high schools receive training equipment including AED training units, CPR and AED training mannequins, and program set-up to enable teachers to train all students with the skills and knowledge to save lives.

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR and AED training as part of their high school education will dramatically increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term. And 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.

“Easy-to-use defibrillators are appearing in many public places. This program is seeing schools teach young people to act, to start CPR, and to grab the AED on the wall in public places and use that too. These schools are teaching life skills that save lives,” says Dr. Justin Maloney, Medical Director, ACT Foundation.

“Congratulations to the Toronto Catholic District School Board, who announced this week, that with the support of community partners, they have outfitted all their schools with AEDs,” says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “They are helping make schools and the community safer with their commitment to AEDs in schools, and the student training.

“To date, the ACT Foundation has set up the CPR Program in more than 1,800 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 4.2 million youth to save lives. See link to many rescue stories.”

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization establishing the free CPR and AED program in Canadian high schools. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners who donate the mannequins and AED training units that schools need to set up the program. High school teachers then teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator to their students as a regular part of the curriculum, reaching all youth prior to graduation. ACT’s partners, committed to bringing the program to Ontario are the Government of Ontario, Hydro One and our national health partners AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada.
www.actfoundation.ca or on Twitter @actfoundation #ACT2Save

For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Edwards
Director of Operations
ACT Foundation
act@actfoundation.ca
Tel: 613-729-3455
Toll: 800-465-9111
actfoundation.ca
twitter.com/actfoundation
instagram.com/theactfoundation
facebook.com/theactfoundation
youtube.com/theactfoundation

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1e0c3ee2-87d1-4f6d-8aec-2a66d2927927