Learning to save lives across South Yorkshire

Pupils at Ecclesfield Comprehensive receive CPR training from Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff as part of a city wide initiative
Pupils at Ecclesfield Comprehensive receive CPR training from Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff as part of a city wide initiative

Thousands more children in Yorkshire now know how to help a person who is suffering a heart attack.

On European Restart a Heart Day, October 16, Yorkshire Ambulance Service got busy and entered 89 secondary schools across the county

to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation to more than 20,000 schoolchildren.

This was the biggest event of its kind ever seen, and could potentially save thousands of lives as youngsters’ newly acquired skills in CPR are put to good use.

Ecclesfield School and Meadowhead School hosted sessions in Sheffield, along with Horizon Community College in Barnsley and Balby Carr Sports Academy in Doncaster.

More than 400 volunteers including YAS staff, community first responders, St John Ambulance helpers as well as staff from Barnsley Hospital, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, the Sheffield-based Embrace paediatric transport service and North West Ambulance Service were among those giving up their time to pass on life-saving skills to others.

Students heard how over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year.

They were told that if a bystander with CPR training acts promptly, before an ambulance arrives on the scene, the patient’s chances of survival actually double.

Many lives have already been saved, in countless situations where people have stepped in. People applaud St John Ambulance’ tuition, saying they are trained so well that they acted without thinking in most cases.

St John Ambulance has 38,000 volunteers nationally who give their time in roles ranging from first aiders, trainers and youth leaders to community first responders, paramedics and doctors.

The charity welcomes volunteers with no previous first aid experience and will provide all necessary training.

For more information visit www.sja.org.uk or call 01924 262726, option 4, or e-mail north-east-hr@sja.org.uk.