16 February 2016

Secondary Schools Invited to Sign Up for Free Life-saving Lesson on Restart a Heart Day 2016 and the Chance to Win a Defibrillator!

Big-hearted Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is inviting secondary schools across the county to sign up for a free life-saving lesson.

Following on from the success of Restart a Heart Day 2014 and 2015, when more than 31,000 youngsters at 137 secondary schools received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, the event will be repeated again this year on Tuesday 18 October 2016.

Hundreds of ambulance staff and volunteers will be available on Restart a Heart Day to teach youngsters what to do if they come across someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest - your actions can mean the difference between life and death.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service anticipates it will again be a hugely popular event so register your school now! As an added incentive to enroll, all participating pupils will be invited to take part in a poster competition and the winner will receive a Zoll defibrillator for their school!

Currently in the UK, less than one (8.6%) in ten people survive a cardiac arrest. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) predicts that if the UK achieved the same survival rates of countries like Norway (25%), where CPR is taught in schools, an additional 100 lives could be saved each week - the equivalent of approximately 5,000 every year.

Organiser Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Restart a Heart Day is becoming a well-established date on Yorkshire’s calendar as a time when thousands of youngsters learn how to save the life of a loved one or a stranger who is suffering a cardiac arrest.

“Many people don’t realise that if someone suffers a cardiac arrest in front of a bystander, who immediately starts CPR before the arrival of the ambulance service, their chances of survival double.

“Currently in the UK, bystanders only get involved in doing CPR in 43% of cardiac arrests, compared to 73% in Norway where the survival rate is considerably higher. The evidence in favour of members of the public learning CPR is obvious. So we would appeal to as many secondary schools as possible to take part in Restart a Heart Day 2016 and enable our staff and volunteers to pass on their skills to pupils who will then have this valuable skill for life.”

The event has been organised in conjunction with the Resuscitation Council (UK), the British Heart Foundation, which provides the equipment free of charge as part of its Nation of Lifesavers campaign, and St John Ambulance, to give thousands of schoolchildren the skills they need to help save a life.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“The UK is a dangerous place to be if you are one of the 30,000 people who has a cardiac arrest outside of hospital this year. Less than one in ten people survive - partly because too few people have the skills and confidence to perform CPR and not enough defibrillators are available in public places.

“That’s why we’re determined to create a Nation of Lifesavers and our partnership with Yorkshire Ambulance Service has brought us one step closer to this goal. This will be the third year we have worked together to train thousands of children in CPR on Restart a Heart Day and we have no doubt that this year’s event will mean thousands more potential lifesavers are walking the streets.”

St John Ambulance regional director, Simon Dunn, said: "As a charity that aims to teach as many people as possible life saving first aid, we urge schools to take this chance for their students to learn vital CPR skills.

"Restart a Heart Day is an excellent event growing from strength to strength. As in previous years, scores of our first aid-trained volunteers will be signing up and proud to support it.”

If your school would like to take part in the event on Tuesday 18 October 2016, you can register at http://www.restartaheart.yas.nhs.uk/. The deadline for applications is 29 April 2016.