The 1728 Copenhagen Fire, where every 4th building went up in flames, became the catalyst that spurred the formation of Copenhagen Fire Insurance, known today as Tryg Forsikring (Safe Insurance). In 1991, the insurance company, originally founded by a group of Copenhagen citizens, established TrygFonden; a foundation designated to promote public safety, both locally and nationally in the country of Denmark. They have since implemented a number of safety initiatives through their own research and engagement with multiple partners that provide valuable experience and relevant competencies, to fulfill their principal mission of saving lives, minimizing human suffering and enhancing people’s everyday lives.
Background for the Danish school project
In 2005, TrygFonden initiated, developed and launched a project distributing free CPR training kits to all Danish 7th Grade school children. With their strong focus on CPR training and already engaged in a number of community CPR programs, the TrygFonden foundation considered this school project an excellent opportunity to further widen the scope of CPR competence among the lay public. TrygFonden funded the 35,000 personal training kits (Mini Anne / CPRAnytime with an instructional DVD) that were needed to facilitate CPR training for all Danish 12-14 year olds at 806 different primary schools.
The training sessions took place in the students’ class rooms during school hours and were facilitated by PE teachers. After the training, the students were encouraged to take their kits home so that they could also be used by family members and friends. In addition to providing and distributing the personal training kits, the Communication Manager of TrygFonden, Trine Heidemann took on the responsibility of organizing the actual school project itself. Recognizing the potential of disseminating CPR in the population through the school curriculum, Trine Heidemann approached the Danish Minister of Health to request that CPR training be made mandatory. TrygFonden would further commit to free distribution of MiniAnne / CPRAnytime kits to future 7th grade school children.
Questionnaires returned by students who had taken MiniAnne/CPR Anytime home to train family and friends indicated that one student generated on average another 2- 3 people with CPR knowledge. This ratio factored into the population count shows the kit’s potential to exponentially increase CPR competence among the general public on a national scale.
Furthermore, First Aid has in fact been integrated with the Danish Curriculum in 2006. Although CPR is not an explicit requirement in the revised schedule, many schools now facilitate CPR training and more than half of the Danish elementary schools have signed up for free training kits provided by the TrygFonden foundation. Looking ahead, Trine Heidemann said, “Next spring, we plan to evaluate the implementation of the concept with free kits. Gaining a better understanding of potential pitfalls and challenges may prove helpful in trying to include more schools in the program.”