30 November 2016

Record-breaking CPR Training Success on Restart a Heart Day

All UK ambulance trusts came together for the first time this year to mark Restart a Heart Day by providing free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to an incredible 116,734 schoolchildren.

Volunteers visited secondary schools and community groups to pass on their life-saving skills in what was the largest event of its kind ever seen in the UK.

The phenomenal achievement by ambulance trusts meant that the overall grand total for youngsters learning CPR on 18 October 2016 reached 150,581 nationwide.

The success is thanks to a collaboration led by the Resuscitation Council (UK), British Heart Foundation (BHF), St John Ambulance, British Red Cross and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS).

Mass CPR training events have been organised by Yorkshire Ambulance Service on Restart a Heart Day since 2014 and following a presentation about the success of the Yorkshire initiative to the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) in March 2016, all UK ambulance trusts signed up to organise events to mark Restart a Heart Day – with overwhelming results.

Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Thanks to our partnership with the BHF and other agencies, we have provided CPR training to 51,000 children at Yorkshire schools on Restart a Heart Day over the last three years. We were delighted to share our concept and support the roll-out of the event to all ambulance trusts nationally ensuring that thousands more youngsters learnt this vital skill on Restart a Heart Day this year.”

Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year. If this happens in front of a bystander who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival double.

The BHF supplies free Call Push Rescue training kits to participating secondary schools and community groups across the UK to help people learn life-saving CPR. You can find out more by visiting bhf.org.uk/cpr

Sara Askew, Head of Survival at the BHF, said: “This year’s Restart a Heart Day was the most successful yet with more than 150,000 young people trained in life saving CPR skills thanks to all the amazing volunteers who gave up their time to support the day.

“But there is still much more to be done to help improve out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK, with less than one in ten people surviving.

“We are urging all secondary schools across the country to apply for our free Call Push Rescue training kits. We also encourage schools with our CPR kits to run sessions and enable their pupils to learn this life saving skill and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.”

Dr Andy Lockey, Honorary Secretary, Resuscitation Council (UK), said: “We're thrilled with how many new life-savers we created and are looking ahead to 2017 with the aim to beat this year’s fantastic total.”

Sue Killen, Chief Executive at St John Ambulance, said: “As a result of the hard work of all partner organisations involved with Restart a Heart Day, thousands of young people all over the country now have the skills to save a life. We are proud to have once again played our part. There is overwhelming evidence that more lives could be saved if more people knew CPR. It is vital that we teach our young people simple first aid techniques so that no one is helpless in an emergency.”