Building a Community of Heartsavers Program Strengthens Chain of Survival in Rural Colorado Through CPR and AED Training

There is a three-year life expectancy gap, on average, between rural and urban populations, with rural areas having higher death rates for cardiovascular disease and stroke than urban areas. Due to the remote nature of rural communities and the difficult terrain, medical help may not be a quick call away when emergencies occur. Because of this, it’s imperative that residents of Colorado’s rural communities have the lifesaving skills they need to act fast when they witness a cardiac emergency.

Thanks to a generous President’s Circle gift from Kelly, Bob and the Kinder family, made in honor of their son Ty Kinder, the American Heart Association will be able to launch the Building a Community of Heartsavers program throughout Colorado. The program will help improve resuscitation outcomes by working with rural school districts to adopt CPR training guidelines, execute cardiac emergency response plans, and provide them with critical CPR training as well as AED training and placement.

The Building a Community of Heartsavers program will expand CPR education by providing CPR in Schools kits to rural school districts around Colorado over the next two years. This is especially important because, Colorado is one of only 12 states in the U.S. that does not require high school students to be trained in CPR before graduation. Meaning there is a missed opportunity to train the 70,000 high school students graduating annually across Colorado to be lifesavers. These kits will help bridge this gap, by providing hands-on CPR skills that will serve as a critical lifeline to the health of rural communities.

The AHA knows that about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double, or triple a person’s chance of survival. CPR is crucial everywhere, but it’s especially important in rural areas where EMS response time can be delayed.  The CPR in Schools kits funded through the Kinder’s gift will provide educators and students with practical CPR skills, putting more qualified lifesavers in our local Colorado communities.

Are you interested in learning about how you can bring the mission of the American Heart Association to life in communities across Colorado? Contact Ashley Nordberg at ashley.nordberg@heart.org to learn more about how you can engage more deeply locally with the American Heart Association.

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