Skip to content


4/12/2016 - Connecticut State Health Officials Declare Bridgeport a 'HEARTSafe' Community

Mayor Joseph P. Ganim

Bridgeport, CT

For Immediate Release                                                                For More Information:

April 12, 2016                                                                                Av Harris (203) 814-7992

-Press Release-

CT State Health Officials Declare Bridgeport a ‘HEARTSafe’ Community

‘HeartSafe’ Designation Recognizes Bridgeport Residents Trained in Life-Saving CPR and Defibrillation to Help Heart Attack Victims Survive


Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that the Connecticut State Department of Public Health has declared Bridgeport a ‘HEARTSafe’ community recognizing the number of citizens that have been trained in life saving measures such as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the strategic placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in the community to improve the survival chances of anyone suffering sudden cardiac arrest.   Bridgeport becomes the 118th municipality in Connecticut to carry the ‘HEARTSafe’ Community designation.

“I am very proud that Bridgeport has achieved this designation because it means that anyone who has sudden heart problems has a much better chance of survival in our city,” said Mayor Ganim.  “The more residents of Bridgeport that can be trained in CPR and know how to use a defibrillator, the more immediate care can be given to anyone who has a heart attack even before the ambulance arrives.  Immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest.  We salute the many Bridgeport citizens who have taken the training to be part of health care emergency response that is saving lives every day.”

Michele Connelly, with the Connecticut Department of Health Office of Emergency Services, said “The Connecticut Department of Public Health would like to congratulate the city of Bridgeport for becoming a HEARTSafe community.  Designation as a HEARTSafe Community represents a true community effort.  Most importantly, it recognizes the citizens throughout the community that took the time and effort to become CPR and AED certified.  Bridgeport has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that its residents and visitors receive the early lifesaving response proven to increase the chances of survival for heart attack victims.  We look forward to working with Bridgeport to help educate all adults in Connecticut about cardiac health.”

Mayor Ganim officially announced Bridgeport’s HEARTSafe Community designation on Thursday April 7, 2016 during National Public Health Week.  Joining him to make the announcement were officials with the Connecticut Department of Public Health as well as the Bridgeport Police and Fire Departments, Office of Emergency Management, and emergency responders with American Medical Response.  Mayor Ganim made the announcement at Ralph n Rich’s restaurant in downtown Bridgeport in order to salute the heroic efforts of bartender Saayied Halabi of Bridgeport. 

In December of 2015, Halabi came to the aid of restaurant patron John Simon, who suddenly suffered massive cardiac arrest.  Mr. Halabi’s emergency intervention to apply CPR and use the defibrillator available on premises was critical to stabilizing Mr. Simon enough by the time Emergency Medical Technicians arrived  that he survived the ordeal.  Mayor Ganim presented a mayoral proclamation to Mr. Halabi in recognition of his life-saving efforts, and was joined in presenting that proclamation by John Simon and his wife Linda, as well as AMR EMTs Patrick Bridge and Carter DeMarco, who treated Mr. Simon at the restaurant and transported him to Bridgeport Hospital.