Act students group photo

March 27, 2024

Class is in session: Saving lives 101 - students empowered to make a difference

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4 mins read

Thunder Bay, ON

Thunder Bay schools step up, equipping students for opioid overdose response.

Imagine this: A classroom filled with engaged students. Today’s lesson? Saving lives

Thanks to a powerful partnership between the ACT (Advanced Coronary Treatment) Foundation and Hydro One, high schools in Thunder Bay are transforming classrooms into life-saving training grounds, empowering students with the skills and confidence to potentially make a difference in the face of a suspected opioid overdose.

Act Students learning CPR

This past February, during Heart Month, we joined our long-standing partner, the ACT Foundation, to announce the launch of Opioid Overdose Response Training in all Thunder Bay high schools. This builds upon the existing ACT High School CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) Programs, equipping teachers with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond effectively in life-threatening medical emergencies. These teachers will now train approximately 1,200 Grade 9 students every year in Thunder Bay.

"It's important to know that even after you call 911, there are steps you can take to help save a life," emphasizes Jennifer Russell, Director of Operations at the ACT Foundation. This sentiment underscores the program’s core objective.

Making a difference

The training teaches students:

  • What are opioids and how do opioids overdoses happen.
  • What is Naloxone and how does it work.
  • How to recognize a suspected opioid overdose.
  • How to respond to a suspected opioid overdose including calling 911 quickly, performing CPR if needed, and giving nasal Naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose by temporarily blocking the effects of opioids on the brain.

Addressing a critical need in the community

Thunder Bay is one of the communities hardest hit by the opioid crisis in our province. Only 18% of Ontarians feel confident responding to suspected overdoses. This program bridges that gap. We’re committed to fostering safe and healthy communities and aim to equip nearly 80% of Ontario high schools with this vital training by 2025.

Hydro One worker giving speach to act students

Equipping students goes beyond lifesaving skills, It builds:


Students gain confidence and self-worth.


The training fosters compassion and a sense of responsibility, encouraging students to look out for one another and offer support in times of need.

Investing in our future, together

Our partnership with the ACT Foundation is much more than training students; it’s an investment in the future of our communities. Together we can create:

  • Safer environments across Ontario: Trained students become active community members, contributing to a collective sense of security and well-being.
  • Stronger community pride: Knowing their peers are equipped to respond brings comfort and strengthens community resilience.

By equipping students and fostering social responsibility, we’re paving the way for safer, healthier, and more compassionate communities for generations to come.

To learn more about the ACT Foundation and Opioid Overdose Response Training, visit

The Energizing Life Community Fund

Hydro One is committed to supporting organizations and communities by funding projects that focus on the physical, psychological and emotional safety and well-being of Ontarians.

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