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Girl Scout Gold Award project benefits Fort HealthCare CPR program

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Many sudden cardiac-related deaths can be prevented through the rapid response of bystanders who call 911 and begin CPR. According to the American Heart Association, the most important link in the “chain of survival” from a sudden cardiac arrest is the layperson. Because nearly 70 percent of sudden deaths due to coronary heart disease happen outside of the hospital, it is up to family, friends, neighbors and community members to help save the lives of those around them.

15 year-old Carly Wallace, daughter of Mike and Kristin Wallace of Fort Atkinson, will be a sophomore at Fort Atkinson High School. She’s doing her part to help advance this life-saving mission in Jefferson County and beyond. To raise the money for the CPR Anytime Kits, Wallace is selling microwavable heating bags for $8 each. The kits will then be given away at Fort Memorial Hospital to the parents of newborns. Wallace chose new parents as recipients because they are motivated to learn CPR but often do not have the time to participate in classes.

CPR Anytime Kits are a product of the American Heart Association that allow anyone to learn CPR basics in only 22 minutes. CPR Anytime Kits are not intended to replace certification courses, but they offer friends and family member enough information to be able to assist in an emergency situation. Kits include an inflatable mannequin, a practice DVD and accessories for the program. Wallace’s hope is that kits can be passed on between family members and friends so that as many people as possible can learn how to provide the basics of CPR.

Wallace is completing this project as part of her work toward achieving the Gold Award, which is the Girl Scout equivalent of the Boy Scouts Eagle Scout award. To achieve a Gold Award, girls must complete an 80 hour project during high school working with a guide, who in this case is Fort HealthCare CPR coordinator Dawn Blanton.

Wallace is a member of a very active Girl Scout troop, led by Kim Hollman. Five girls in this troop are currently working toward the Gold Award, which is an unusually high percentage. Many girls drop-out of Girl Scouts before they are old enough to work on the gold Award project.

To support the fundraising effort, please visit her at the Fort Atkinson Farmer’s Market. If you’re unable to attend but would like to purchase a heating bag, please contact Carly at (920) 568-8458.

To learn more about cardiac-related death prevention, you can participate in one of Fort HealthCare’s American Heart Association CPR courses. Included in the offerings is the non-certification “Family & Friends CPR” course. Registrations for this course, being held September 11 from 9:00 a.m. until noon, are now being accepted online at The class is $5 per person.