Heart and Stroke Foundation event at Wonderland draws 5,020 people to learn life-saving CPR, beating current Canadian and USA record

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is thrilled to announce that it has trained 5020 people in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) all at the same time. The crowd included thousands of teenagers, as the life-saving training took place last night at Canada's Wonderland during the popular Halloween Haunt.

"We're so proud of everyone here who took the time to get involved to learn CPR and help us make history," said Mark Holland, Director of Health Promotion and Public Affairs, Heart and Stroke Foundation. "We set out to break Singapore's world record because it is a memorable and fun way to raise CPR awareness, and even though it didn't happen, we're thrilled that thousands of Canadians walked out of Wonderland, with the knowledge and confidence to potentially save a life if someone goes into cardiac arrest."

To break the U.S.A. record, Canada had to beat Arlington, Texas, where 4,626 people were trained.  The last time Canada attempted a mass CPR training event, 500 people were trained.

As many as 40,000 cardiac arrests occur in Canada each year, and up to 85 per cent of these happen in public areas or homes. For every minute that passes without CPR, chances of survival decrease by 10 percent.

Research shows that key barriers stopping people from performing CPR are lack of training, fear of harming the victim and failure to understand the consequences of not doing CPR. Communities like Seattle, which has promoted CPR awareness for years, have seen survival rates increase drastically, resulting in hundreds of lives being saved every year.

The Guinness World Records event tonight is part of an aggressive province-wide Heart and Stroke Foundation CPR campaign, which launched with a horror-movie style PSA called The Undeading. With 600 thousand views, it has attracted attention all over the world, including a film festival in Europe. In addition to tonight's Wonderland event, the Foundation will conduct CPR training in various Ontario communities throughout November.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation thanks our sponsors and partners for their generous support of CPR Makes You Undead and the Canada's Wonderland event: Laerdal Medical Canada, Philips Healthcare, Eska Water, Nature Valley, Agency 59, Alter Ego, Canada's Wonderland, Space, RMW Music, Cartilage Inc., Married to Giants, Touchwood Design, Vibe Dance & Fitness Studio, Toronto Zombie Walk and VIUU Visual Intelligence.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.

SOURCE: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
For further information:

Media Contacts:
Teresa Roncon cell: 416-937-5307

Alexandra Maheux 416-729-5913