The Buffalo Bills and American Heart Association will work together to improve the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest in our community.
"We are very excited and proud to announce our partnership with the American Heart Association, with the goal of working together to help increase the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. Over the last year, we learned first-hand the impact of a cardiac arrest incident with Kim Pegula, Damar Hamlin and too many others in our community," said Bills EVP/COO Ron Raccuia.
With the Bills making a $1 million commitment over 5 years to the American Heart Association, there will be several initiatives during that span.
Notably, there will be two large scale CPR trainings this June supported by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY. These community trainings are designed for all ages and will include Hands-Only CPR training and family friendly activities.
The first training will be June 3 at Highmark Stadium during National CPR + AED Awareness Week. The second training will be held on June 10 at Johnnie B Wiley Pavilion. The events are FREE to the public but do require tickets. Participants will select an available time for their scheduled training.
"Alongside the American Heart Association, we hope to educate and empower the WNY region to learn lifesaving skills including Hands-Only CPR, the role of AEDs and the importance of receiving timely medical attention. Our hope is to provide everyone in Buffalo, including those in underresourced areas who would not normally have access to similar education and training, the ability to save a life if that time ever presents itself," Raccuia said.
These two community events are just one part of the Bills initiatives with American Heart Association. Here are other planned community initiatives.
- 2 trainings per month with local community organizations with a focus on vulnerable and underresourced communities. Click here to learn more
- Distribution of 200 CPR + First Aid in Youth Sports Training Kits to local sports organizations along with the development of a cardiac response plan with the help of the American Heart Association
- American Heart Association will provide Hands-Only CPR training and educational information to fans at training camp this summer
- 1 large scale training at the American Heart Association's CycleNation at ADPRO Training Center this fall
- Annual Buffalo Bills staff training
- PSA's and other awareness efforts around a home Bills game and throughout the year
Over the last several months, the Bills have prioritized increasing the education and training for sudden cardiac arrest incidents and will continue to work with community and corporate partners on other initiatives still in development.
The team previously announced a partnership with the Bills Foundation, Highmark, Lawley Insurance, and the Buffalo and Erie County Public libraries which placed American Heart Association CPR Anytime Kits in every library in Erie County. In addition, both CPR certification and Hands-Only CPR training have been conducted with Bills staff this offseason.
"Awareness of the need to know CPR has heightened all over the country and certainly in Buffalo over the last several months. That's why we formed this partnership in the first place, providing CPR training kits to each Buffalo Library," said Michael Ball, Vice President, Community Affairs, of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. "Our family-focused training event will bring generations of people together to continue an important and timely movement of getting more people trained in this life-saving method."
The American Heart Association and the Buffalo Bills plan to train thousands of Western New Yorkers in Hands-Only CPR over the next five years through community empowerment events, each aimed at training hundreds of people. 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.
"From seeing Damar Hamlin collapse, to reading about Kim Pegula being saved by a loved one, the importance of CPR has been in the forefront of the Buffalo community," says Jason Stulb, executive director of the American Heart Association, Buffalo/Niagara. "Unfortunately, too many sudden cardiac arrest victims don't get the help those two did. Knowing how to respond in a cardiac emergency when seconds matter is literally the difference between life and death. Thanks to support from the Buffalo Bills, we will be able to improve the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest in our community. More people will be ready to respond in those crucial first moments after cardiac arrest."
The work will also include community education, Bills training camp and game day events, social media awareness and education campaigns and distribution of CPR resources to local youth sports teams and leagues. The goal is to increase the confidence and ability of members of the community to perform bystander CPR.
Fans can get involved and learn more about the Buffalo Bills and American Heart Association initiatives at buffalobills.com/heart.