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Sharing will be part of Heart Association's Heart Ball tonight

The American Heart Association will host the Buffalo Niagara Heart Ball this evening but the black-tie event isn’t the big news coming out of the regional chapter this week.

Buffalo is also one of five cities across the country recently chosen to receive 1,000 Hands-Only CPR training kits funded by the American Heart Association.

"The more people who are trained in CPR, the more lifesavers we will have in communities who can act as first responders when citizens go into cardiac arrest," Dr. Glenna Bett, association Advisory Board president for the Buffalo Niagara Division, said in a news release.

"The City of Buffalo aims to use the hands-only kits to train 6,000 city residents in CPR training sessions led by local emergency responders, health agencies, and volunteers," regional Heart Association spokeswoman Jennifer Pratt said. "Buffalo will implement the Hands-Only CPR technique in schools to better equip teachers, professionals, and families for emergency preparedness."

Tonight’s Heart Ball will celebrate a local bystander who successfully saved a life by acting fast and performing CPR.

Rural/Metro Medical Services will be honored with the annual organizational Hero of the Heart award, as the company has embraced the heart association’s CPR in Schools initiative, which looks to train all high school students in Hands-Only CPR by graduation.

Also being honored is Dr. John Bell-Thomson, chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mercy Hospital, who become a pioneer in cardiothoracic surgery. During his 20 years in Buffalo, Bell-Thomson his innovation and dedication has led him to be among few surgeons nationwide who performs cardiac surgeries robotically.

Sponsors attending the dinner will have the opportunity to provide CPR Anytime kits for everyone at their table to take with them. The kits outline the skills of CPR and come complete with a DVD and mannequin.

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