Launch Event February 2013 North West Ambulance Service is proud to congratulates the first ever winners of the award in Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside & Greater Manchester! The CardiacSmart initiative, born from the Chain of Survival Partnership in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), works to extend the network coverage of public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) within local communities across the North West; as well as training more individuals in basic life support skills. With the recent publicity over Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest, the Oliver King Foundation's petition, and with more common interest over Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), the dangers of heart health are at the forefront of the nation's psyche. The CardiacSmart initiative promotes awareness of heart health, and awards community groups, organisations and individuals for their commitments to increasing this awareness within their local community or workplace. The criteria for achieving each standard increases across the three levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold; and involves, for example, groups being able to demonstrate how they have trained, and been trained in, life-saving skills, including the four stages of the Chain of Survival*, promote heart health messages and installation of public access AEDs. The launch event revealed all winners and their level of award, as well as more information about Cardiac Smart. Winners in Lancashire include: Heartbeat NWCC - Gold Rossendale Community First Responders - Gold Community Defibrillators for Rossendale - Gold Lancashire Defibrillator Campaign - Gold Winners in Cumbria include: Broughton and Bingham Community First Responders - Gold Caldbeck Community First Responders - Gold Silloth Community First Responders - Gold Walney Island Community First Responders - Gold Whitehaven and District Community First Responders - Gold Winners in Cheshire include: Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets - Bronze Poynton Community First Responders - Bronze Holmes Chapel Community First Responders - Gold West Cheshire College - Gold Winners in Merseyside include: Liverpool John Lennon Airport - Gold Knowsley Community College - Gold Winners in Greater Manchester include: Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust - Silver Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust - Silver Manchester Museum of Science and Industry - Gold Salford Heart Care - Gold Bolton Lads + Girls Group - Gold Bob Williams, NWAS Acting Chief Executive, said "The CardiacSmart award is a great way to engage with local community groups and business organisations in raising awareness of heart health. The award criteria provides very structured and all-encompassing guidance to achieving a good level of heart safety; making it easier for groups to be able to think about all aspects of promoting the message and making their communities safer, from education to their own engagement with their community. "We hope that all those who have received their awards, will vouch for the initiative, and prompt more people, community groups and organisations to begin to think more about how CardiacSmart they could become." Gail Sargerson, Area Development Manager at the British Heart Foundation said: "The CardiacSmart award is a fantastic initiative and the British Heart Foundation is delighted to be playing a vital role in helping ensure people across the local area are trained in life-saving skills. It's a sad fact that around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital each year. The more we can do to raise awareness of the importance of heart health and how to save a life in an emergency situation the many more lives we can save in the future." To view photographs of all the winners click here.