American Heart Association, Cities of Service tap volunteers to help save more lives with Hands-OnlyTM CPR

Competitive grant program to provide 2,000 CPR Anytime kits to Cities of Service coalition members

August 01, 2013 Categories: Program News

(DALLAS – Aug. 1, 2013) – The American Heart Association and Cities of Service today announced a new grant program to arm citizens with lifesaving Hands-OnlyTM CPR skills to respond to cardiac emergencies in their communities.

Four cities across the U.S. will be awarded up to 500 CPR Anytime kits – for a total of 2,000 kits granted nationwide – to support implementation of the Cities of Service Volunteer CPR Blueprint. Volunteer CPR is a high-impact service strategy in which the mayor's office, through partnerships with local medical professionals or emergency responders, trains volunteers to use the lifesaving Hands-Only CPR technique. Founded in September of 2009, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of over 150 mayors committed to addressing pressing city needs through impact volunteering.

“The more people who are trained in CPR, the more lifesavers we have in communities who can act as first responders when citizens go into cardiac arrest,” said Monica Kleinman, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. “We want all Americans to know how to save a life, so that we see an increase in survival.”

“Since launching in New York City in 2009, the Volunteer CPR model has helped train tens of thousands of Americans in Hands-Only CPR,” said Na’eem Crawford of Cities of Service. “We’re proud to work with the American Heart Association to help more cities empower their communities to learn this life-saving approach.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Sadly, 89 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.

The Volunteer CPR blueprint dramatically increases the number of CPR-trained residents by having volunteers who are trained by professionals in CPR teach the technique to at least five other residents – vastly improving a community’s ability to respond to sudden cardiac emergencies. This approach is showing promise in cities already implementing the initiative. For example, in New York City, more than 123,000 New Yorkers have been trained in CPR to help improve the city’s cardiac arrest survival rates. Similarly, in Houston, more than 17,000 residents have been trained using this approach.

To apply for the grant, cities must be members of the Cities of Service coalition and submit an online proposal that meets the objectives of the Volunteer CPR Blueprint. The full, online, application can be accessed here and at  All applications must be submitted using this online form.

Cities interested in applying that are not members of the Cities of Service coalition can email to learn how to encourage their mayor to join.

The deadline to submit grant applications is Friday, September 20, 2013; the four winning cities will be notified in Fall 2013.

For more information about Cities of Service, visit and to learn more about Hands-Only CPR, visit


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. As part of our dedication to save lives, we are setting out to train all Americans in lifesaving Hands-Only CPR. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit  or call any of our offices around the country.

About Cities of Service

Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective. To learn more, follow Cities of Service on Twitter at or visit our website at

Kate Lino
American Heart Association