THOMPSON, MB--(Marketwired - June 03, 2016) - Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation in partnership with Vale, will officially launch the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program in R.D. Parker Collegiate, Nisichawayasihk Neyo Ohtinwak Collegiate (NNOC), and Mel Johnson School. More than 330 students in Thompson, Nelson House, and Wabowden will graduate with the skills and knowledge to save lives every year. The media event is held at the R.D. Parker Collegiate, 272 Thompson Dr N, Thompson, MB, R8N 2B5.
The ACT Foundation is the charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools across Canada. The Foundation promotes awareness and education on the prevention of emergencies, health and safety, and community response. ACT is working in partnership with lead community partner, Vale, and health partners AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada, and Sanofi Canada to bring this program to Thompson and area.
Funding will see secondary schools receive training equipment to enable teachers to train students, including Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, CPR and AED training mannequins, and program set-up that will see all students graduate with the skills and knowledge to save lives. Secondary schools will also receive, as needed, a defibrillator for on-site cardiac arrest emergencies.
"When a heart stops, every second counts. As much as we'd like first responders to be there immediately, they can only arrive so fast. Lives in cardiac arrest are saved by the immediate actions of bystanders. Early access to CPR and defibrillation are imperative at improving survivability and we need to support and engage in more community level initiatives like this," says Thompson MLA, Kelly Bindle. "Educating students at a young age will create an entire generation of ready to act, confident lifesavers. The Government of Manitoba commends the work done by the ACT Foundation to provide free training to high schools in the two most important areas: AED and CPR. Although we hope none of these students ever have to use their training, their community becomes much safer with each new program graduate," he adds.
"The most important work that we do every day is to apply the distinctive actions of SafeProduction -- plan, accept, care and lead -- in order to manage risk to as low as reasonable achievable. We utilize controls and tools to achieve our goal of zero harm, but if something were to occur, we rely on our training. The ACT Foundation also provides the tools and training necessary to manage risk and save lives, which is why Vale is proud to support this vital initiative," says Mark Scott, Vice President, Manitoba Operations, Vale.
With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering all youth with CPR and AED training as part of their high school education will dramatically increase citizen CPR response rates and save lives.
"As a founding partner of the ACT Foundation, we have proudly watched this program expand to communities from coast to coast. Not only are youth learning critical skills that stay with them for a lifetime, they also gain an appreciation of the science behind the techniques and, in some cases, go on to pursue careers in such areas as nursing, medicine, and emergency services," says Ed Dybka, President and CEO, AstraZeneca Canada.
To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 1,740 high schools across Canada and approximately 3.2 million students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.
Early CPR, combined with early defibrillation, can increase survival rates for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75%, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
"We are thrilled with the support from our lead community partner Vale," says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation's Executive Director. "With it, we can enhance the CPR program in the Thompson and area secondary schools with the addition of the defibrillator component. These are lifesaving skills that students will be able to bring to their current and future families and communities."
About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing the 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. Secondary 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 national health partners who are committed to bringing the program across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada, and Sanofi Canada. Many rescues have already occurred thanks to the high school program as highlighted in the powerful 3-minute video (see link: http://youtu.be/IWTSXcx2lpI).