World Restart a Heart Day 2021 is October 16th

Last month, Brian Buckley, a health researcher in the Washington, D.C., area gave cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR to a man after he had collapsed from a heart attack on a local bike trail. As a former lifeguard, Buckley knew that starting CPR quickly can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Now he’s using his experience to put a spotlight on World Restart a Heart Day, Saturday, October 16th.

“We were the first responders, and I looked to my buddy and said, ‘You call 911.’ And then the lifeguard in me, it all came back like it was yesterday. We ended up doing CPR, switching between three of us over about 15 to 20 minutes.  And you know, in many ways, that ended up saving that man’s life.

Buckley says bystander CPR is more important than ever because research shows survival of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest dropped by 14 percent in 2020 compared with about 10 percent the year before. World Restart a Heart Day is an initiative of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation or ILCOR. ILCOR was formed in 1992 to provide a forum for liaison between principal resuscitation organizations around the world.  At present, ILCOR includes representatives of seven resuscitation organizations around the world, including the American Heart Association, the European Resuscitation Council and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.  ILCOR celebrated the inaugural World Restart A Heart Day in 2018 and continues to celebrate this day with educational events each year on October 16th.  This year, the spotlight is on survivors.  Using the hashtag #CPRSavedMyLife, ILCOR is gathering stories of survivors who are still with us today thanks to bystander CPR.

The World Restart a Heart initiative aims to boost bystander CPR rates worldwide by encouraging folks to learn hands-only CPR.  Buckley points out each year, more than 350 thousand Americans experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, and about 90 percent of them die.

“There’s also the importance of making sure that when people do call 911 that we can have the folks on the phone be able to walk people through CPR. That’s one of the things I’ve become very passionate about.”

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring all state 911 dispatchers to complete telephone CPR education by July 2024. The Commonwealth joins six other states, including Maryland, Louisiana and West Virginia that require telephone CPR training for dispatchers. The American Heart Association is encouraging folks to join them as advocates for this type of critical legislation in other states.  You can go to to find out more about learning this life-saving procedure.

Thanks to the Virginia News Service and for the information in this story.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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