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4,000 students to receive lifesaving CPR and defibrillator training

LOWER MAINLAND, British Columbia, Feb. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (Heart Month) -- The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation and partners are launching the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program in 10 public standard secondary schools in Surrey and five (5) schools in North Vancouver.  This will see more than 4,000 students empowered by their teachers with essential lifesaving skills every year.

The ACT Foundation is the charitable foundation that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in secondary schools across Canada. ACT fundraises to donate mannequins and automated external defibrillator (AED) training units to schools, and paramedic trainers train the teachers to train students.  

ACT is working in partnership with its provincial partner BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics and staff, and its health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada, and community partners to bring this program to communities throughout the province.

Funding sees participating schools receive training equipment to enable teachers to train students. This includes AED training units, AED training mannequins, and program set-up that will see all students graduate with the skills and knowledge to 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 Jamie Freedman, President and CEO, AstraZeneca Canada.

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with training in CPR and how to use an AED will save 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.

“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 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.”

Through this program more than 500,000 BC youth have been trained in CPR to date by more than 1,300 teachers.

“In addition to our provincial and health partners, at the community level, service clubs are also providing important donations to make this program possible,” says Sandra Clarke, the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. "For example, we have support in North Vancouver from lead community partner the Rotary Club of Lions Gate-North Vancouver and community partner Deep Cove Lions Club, and in Surrey, the Rotary Club of Cloverdale, Rotary Club of White Rock, Semiahmoo Rotary Club, Surrey Central Lions Club and White Rock Kiwanis Club."

To date, the ACT Foundation has set up the CPR Program in more than 1,790 high schools nation-wide, empowering more than 4.2 million youth to save lives.

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. or on Twitter @actfoundation #ACT2Save

About BC Emergency Health Services

BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is responsible for the delivery and governance of pre-hospital emergency medical care and inter-facility patient transfer services through the BC Ambulance Service and BC Patient Transfer Services. BCEHS is supported by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). For more information, please visit or on Twitter @BC_EHS.​

For photo opportunities or media interviews and information:

Jennifer Edwards
Operations Manager
ACT Foundation
Tel: 613-286-5260
Toll: 800-465-9111

Cristiane Doherty
Media Coordinator
ACT Foundation
Tel: 613-799-9277

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 10:00