Made in 2023, the five-year commitment adds lifesavers to the chain of survival in Buffalo and Western New York

BUFFALO, NY, May 23, 2024 —According to American Heart Association data, 9 out of every 10 people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die. This is in part because they do not receive immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) more than half of the time. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. The American Heart Association and the Buffalo Bills want more people to be confident and capable when faced with a cardiac emergency. In the second year of the HeartBEAT initiative, the two organizations are teaming up to bring more Hands-Only CPR demonstrations and equipment to community events, organizations and youth sports groups across Western New York.

Begun in 2023, the HeartBEAT initiative is a five-year, $1 million dollar commitment by the Buffalo Bills to educate thousands of Western New Yorkers in Hands-Only CPR. The project is adding more people to the Association’s Nation of Lifesavers™ movement, which intends to double survival rates by 2030.

Now in its 100th year, the American Heart Association is the worldwide leader in resuscitation science, education and training, and publisher of the official scientific guidelines for CPR. The Nation of Lifesavers™ movement is the Association’s most recent demonstration of the commitment to CPR education. The sudden cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during Monday Night Football in January 2023 is the spark that ignited the American Heart Association’s Nation of Lifesavers commitment. Hamlin, currently serving as the national ambassador, champions work alongside the Association to add lifesavers to the chain of survival where fans live, work and play.

“Knowing how to respond in a cardiac emergency when seconds matter is literally the difference between life and death. By bringing these lifesaving CPR demonstrations to the community, we are meeting people where they are,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “As we celebrate 100 years of lifesaving work, our collaboration with the Buffalo Bills is adding more lifesavers in Western New York.”

For the second year of the HeartBEAT program, the American Heart Association and the Buffalo Bills will bring CPR demonstrations and education to community events teaching participants the correct rate and depth of compressions.

CPR education will be free and open to the public at the following events and locations:

  • Buffalo Marathon on Saturday, May 25, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
  • Buffalo Public Schools Summit on Saturday, June 1, 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m. ET at All-High Stadium
  • Dion’s Dreamers CommUNITY Day on Tuesday, July 16, 3:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. ET at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
  • Buffalo Bills Training Camp throughout summer 2024 at St. John Fisher University, Rochester
  • Buffalo CycleNation taking place in fall 2024 at ADPRO Sports Training Center
  • HeartBEAT Game Day taking place in fall 2024 at Highmark Stadium

“The Bills are committed to promoting CPR education at all levels of football and throughout the community,” said Michelle Roberts, vice president of community impact of the Buffalo Bills. “Together with the American Heart Association we are grateful to be in a position to help provide educational opportunities to our community on the lifesaving skills of Hands-Only CPR.”

In addition to the hands-on education efforts, the American Heart Association and the Buffalo Bills will continue their shared focus on CPR education for youth sports coaches. On June 3, during National CPR & automated external defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week, the American Heart Association and Buffalo Bills will host an educational webinar focused on new state legislation requiring camps and youth sports programs in New York to establish automated external defibrillator, or AED, implementation plans. Interested groups can register for the webinar online.

As a part of the HeartBEAT initiative, 200 CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports training kits will be placed in the Western New York community. These training kits are designed for youth coaches to ensure they and their community know the lifesaving skills of CPR, how to use an AED, and how to help during sports related emergencies. Each kit can train approximately 300 people per year. In the first year of the program, 30 kits have already been placed in the Western New York community. For information on how to request a kit for a youth sports organization, visit the American Heart Association’s HeartBEAT initiative website.

Quick, simple and easy-to-learn, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective in the first few minutes as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public. It is as simple as calling 911 if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

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