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New CPR, Defibrillator Training gives Kootenay Lake students knowledge to save lives

Kootenay Lake School Teachers and members learn CPR skills during Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation training recently at Mount Sentinel. — Submitted

Thanks in part to the award-winning ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Training Program, teachers in Kootenay Lake School District 8 can now train more students to save lives every day.

The training was part of a Professional Development Day course sponsored by Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation.

Mount Sentinel teacher Joe Moreira the courses will now be taught to Grade 9 classes.

“Our front-line paramedics and dispatchers know bystander CPR saves lives,” said BCEHS Chief Medial Advisor, Dr. William Dick.

“That’s why we’re so invested in helping to prepare future generations on how to help someone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest.”

“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,” Dick adds.

“These skills will assist them to help others throughout the rest of their lives.”

A handful of teachers from Mount Sentinel and L.V. Rogers as well as a few citizens from the Slocan Valley participated in the instruction of CPR and defibrillator skills.

This training will result in more than 200 students from Mount Sentinel and L.V. Rogers Secondary Schools graduating with the skills and the knowledge to 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 secondary school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

“Seeing the expansion of ACT to more schools across Canada is a source of great pride for Sanofi Canada, a founding partner in the program,” says Niven Al-Khoury, General Manager and Country Chair of Sanofi Canada.

“ACT’s CPR and AED Program is unique to Canada and renders a critical service to our healthcare system and services.”

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

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 239 public standard secondary schools throughout BC and more than 460,000 students have already been empowered to save lives with CPR.

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 M.S.C., the ACT Foundation’s Executive Director. “With it, we can implement the CPR and AED Program in the communities of Nelson and South Slocan. These are lifesaving skills that students will be able to bring to their current and future families and communities.”

Thanks to the support of our partners including community partners: Apex Geoscience Consulting, CIBC Wood Gundy Nelson, Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd., Kootenay Slocan Lions Club, L.V. Rogers Secondary School Parent Advisory Committee, Nelson & District Credit Union, RHC Insurance and the Rotary Club of Nelson, the secondary schools are receiving CPR training mannequins, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training units, curriculum materials and program set-up. Today’s teacher training is being provided by BCEHS’ Colin Fitzpatrick, a Paramedic Education Officer, who is volunteering his time to teach the workshop.

School District No. 8 Kootenay Lake Snapshot:

  • 2 secondary schools to implement the CPR and AED Training Program
  • 225 students will now be trained in both CPR and how to use a defibrillator each year
  • 39 CPR training mannequins donated
  • 6 defibrillator training units donated
  • Communities to receive the program are: Nelson and South Slocan
  • Participating Secondary Standard Schools: Mount Sentinel Secondary School and L.V. Rogers