For Immediate Release
Date: February 13, 2013
WHAT: To mark Valentine’s Day, the City of Savannah is launching an exciting new initiative to reduce the number of deaths from cardiac arrest by training 6,000 residents in life-saving CPR in 2013.
WHEN: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, February 14
WHERE: Savannah Civic Center, eastside front steps (parking lot side)
WHO: Savannah Mayor Edna B. Jackson, Acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter, and members of City Council will join local health leaders, including the CEOs of both hospital systems in Savannah, as well as civic and business leaders.
WHY: The Savannah CPR Initiative is the result of a competitive grant recently awarded to the Mayor's Office by the Bloomberg Foundation, the American Heart Association, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Savannah was one of five cities to receive the award. The others were Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Virginia Beach, Va.
The grant provides Savannah with 1,000 Hands-Only CPR kits, each of which includes a practice torso, printed materials and a DVD instructing participants to train others in Hands-Only CPR – the simple, effective technique done to the beat of the Bee Gees song, “Stayin’ Alive.” A lively demonstration of this technique will be performed at the news conference.
The City is tasked with training 1,000 Savannahians in this technique this year, which will occur in “train-the-trainer” sessions at dozens of locations across the community, including two daylong events at the Civic Center in April. Citizens can sign up for the FREE classes, which are conducted by the nonprofit Saving Lives in Chatham County, at www.slicc.org/SavannahCPR
Each of the initial 1,000 trainees will in turn pledge to train at least five other individuals, bringing to 6,000 the total number of Savannahians trained in CPR. The hope is that "Savannah's 6,000" will vastly improve our community's ability to respond to sudden cardiac emergencies, doubling our survival rate for witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The City has partnered with the nonprofit Saving Lives in Chatham County to help accomplish this goal.