FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
March 15, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
“The HEARTSafe Communities program is designed to promote and recognize the efforts of local municipalities to provide improved cardiac response and care to its residents,” said DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA. “Bolton has demonstrated its commitment toward ensuring that its residents and visitors receive the early lifesaving response proven to increase the chances of survival for heart attack victims.”
DPH began the HEARTSafe Communities program to foster community environments that improve the survival odds for people suffering sudden cardiac events, such as cardiac arrests or heart attacks. The key to the program has been dubbed by the American Heart Association as the Chain of Survival. The Chain of Survival has four vital links: early access to emergency care; early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); early defibrillation and early advanced care.
A HEARTSafe Community promotes and supports: CPR training in the community; public access to defibrillation through strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use by public safety professionals and other trained community members; and early advanced care.
Bolton met the program requirements for public placement of AEDs, trained community residents, and equipped staffed and trained emergency responders. In addition, Bolton is planning on continuing to provide community CPR training programs and expand the availability of AEDs in public locations.
Bolton’s schools have taken an active role in this initiative. Beginning with members of Class of 2012, all students of Bolton High School must pass a CPR course including training in the use of AEDs. The course is taught as part of the school’s health curriculum by health and physical education teacher, Mrs. Robin Johnson, who has been trained by the American Heart Association as a certified teacher of CPR.
“The Bolton Public Schools are committed to helping our students gain the most important skills while in school. Certainly there is none more significant than knowing how to save a life,” said School Superintendent, Paul K. Smith. “As part of our commitment to contributing to our HEARTsafe community our goal is to have every staff member of the Bolton Public Schools certified in CPR by the time the class of 2012 graduates, the first class required to graduate having completed a CPR course.” By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, Smith anticipates that 30% of the staff will have received CPR certification.
Municipalities wishing to obtain designation as a HEARTSafe Community can download an application from the Connecticut Department of Public Health website at: www.ct.gov/dph or contact Gary St. Amand, Health Program Associate, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-509-7581.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.