A generous donation has made healthy, beating hearts a standard in dozens of city schools.

The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth, a humanitarian organization, has donated $80,000 to equip 28 high schools with portable defibrillators.

“We’re thrilled,” said Edmonton Catholic Schools spokeswoman Lori Nagy. “The health and safety of our students is always our first priority, and this helps us to ensure we have a life-saving device available in case of an emergency.”

The donation comes after hockey player Trevor Forest fell to the ground during practice at a NAIT hockey arena in October.

A quick-thinking teammate grabbed a portable defibrillator off the wall, and gave Forest a life-saving shock that would ensure that he live to play another game.

“It’s fantastic,” he said yesterday. “I wouldn’t be here if one hadn’t been put into the school to start with.”

Twenty of the units are bound for public high schools. Eight are headed for Catholic schools.

Teachers have been given half-day classes to learn how to operate the devices in case an emergency situation should arise.

Though instances of teenagers needing the assistance of the devices are rare, the organization plans to expand their program, in an effort to get the devices to schools outside of Edmonton.

“For what it’s worth, a heart attack can happen any time,” Forest said. “I suppose you wouldn’t think of young adults as being susceptible, but it really can happen to anyone when they least expect it.”