Dover Bay Secondary School Grade 10 students Brianne Davies

Nanaimo students learn life-saving skills

NANAIMO – Equipment and training provided through Advanced Coronary Treatment Foundation.

Last week, students at Dover Bay Secondary School demonstrated how to revive someone who has gone into cardiac arrest.

The demonstration was part of a kickoff and donation presentation ceremony at the school Friday morning to launch the Advanced Coronary Treatment Foundation High School CPR and Defibrillator Program in Nanaimo, which will train 1,100 students in cardio pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation techniques annually in the school district’s six secondary schools.

As part of the program, each school will receive CPR training dummies, automatic external defibrillator training devices, and fully functional units to potentially save a life should a cardiac emergency occur.

Representatives from the Royal Bank of Canada’s Nanaimo branches were on hand to present a $20,000 donation to pay for the program locally. The ultimate goal is to have 700 units in schools across B.C.

An automated external defibrillator already proved its worth locally when a 34-year-old man was resuscitated after going into cardiac arrest at Frank Crane Arena in 2014.

“The goal is that [CPR training] reaches all students before graduation,” said Jennifer Edwards, ACT Foundation operations manager. “Every student who goes into Planning 10 will receive the course for free.”

Friday was the first day of training for Grade 10 students Makayla Egan and Brianne Davies who are in Dover Bay’s Planning 10 program. About 200 Planning 10 students will be trained annually. Both girls said they have never had to deal with a real-life medical emergency.

“I just kind of feel better having that in the school,” Egan said. “It kind of creates a security thing.”

Some of that confidence is derived from the defibrillator’s instructions, recited verbally, to guide users through the resuscitation procedure.

“I feel more confident, like if the situation was to happen that I would be able to help the person out,” Davies said. “The device is really easy to use and it helps you out.”

The ACT Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization establishing free CPR and defibrillator programs across Canada and has so far set up ACT High School CPR Programs in 226 public secondary schools across B.C. and trained 281,000 students.

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