February is Heart Month and what better way to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest than by helping to bring CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to the youth in our communities!
In a new initiative supporting our value of corporate social responsibility, Iridia has partnered with the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation to bring such training into high schools in British Columbia.
The ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in all Canadian high schools as a regular part of the school curriculum. The program is built on a model of establishing community-based partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners to donate equipment – such as training mannequins, AED training units and AED units – that schools need to set up the program. Training is also a key component. Teachers in secondary schools are trained in CPR and defibrillator use and they, in turn, will act as instructors for their students. The aim of the program is to ensure that all youth prior to graduation could effectively treat someone who is having a sudden cardiac arrest.
Until recently, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 220 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia. Approximately 235,000 students have already been empowered to save lives using CPR skills.
These numbers were increased on 1 February, when eight teachers from Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Secondary School and North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John participated in the teacher-training workshop. In addition to Iridia’s contribution of AED training units, and funding for the AED training mannequins and program resources, Iridia’s CPR Instructor-Trainer, Jeff Kain, flew to Fort St. John to conduct the teacher training. As a follow-up to the workshop, and as part of the program, each school also received from Iridia an AED so that potential life-saving equipment is on hand in the event of an in-school cardiac arrest emergency.
The training conducted on 1 February will result in 350 students trained annually by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills.
“Since our inception, Iridia has been passionate about increasing community access to AEDs and CPR training within BC”, said Vern Biccum, President of Iridia Medical. “The work conducted by the ACT Foundation aligns with this passion, and we are very proud to be collaborating on such a meaningful opportunity that will equip the youth of Fort St. John with the skills and knowledge necessary 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 high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.
Check out the following links for more information about the ACT Foundation and the recent workshop conducted in Fort St. John.