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Students Learn to Save Lives with CPR, Defibrillator training

Grand Forks teachers were part of the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program that came to School District No. 51 Boundary. — Submitted photo

Recently, teachers from School District No. 51 Boundary will be 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 85 students from Boundary Central Secondary and Grand Forks Secondary School graduating with the skills and the knowledge to save lives every year.

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, the Kettle River Lions Club, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada to bring this program to these two secondary schools.

Thanks to the support of our partners, the secondary school is receiving the donation of training mannequins, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, curriculum materials and program set-up.

The teacher training was provided by BCEHS’ Paramedic, Karly Jones, who is volunteering her time to teach the workshop. She was assisted by her husband Ryan Jones and Susan Lang, Community Paramedic for Midway. The schools will also be receiving an AED for any onsite emergencies.

“Easy-to-use defibrillators are appearing in many public places," said Dr. Justin Maloney, Medical Director, ACT Foundation.

"This program will see 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."

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.

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 242 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia and more than 506,000 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,” said BCEHS Vice-President of Clinical and Medical Programs, Dr. John Tallon. “

Every year, through the ACT Foundation’s CPR and AED program approximately 46,000 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,” said Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can implement the CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training Program in Grand Forks and Midway. 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 1,800 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 4.6 million youth to save lives.

School District No. 51 Boundary Snapshot:

  • Boundary Central Secondary and Grand Forks Secondary School to implement the CPR and AED Program
  • More than 75 students will now be trained in both CPR and how to use an AED each year
  • 29 CPR and AED training mannequins and 3 AED training units to be donated
  • 2 AEDs to be donated for onsite emergencies

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. 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 partners, committed to bringing the program to British Columbia are BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), and our national health partners AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada.