24 August 2017

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Celebrates Life-saving Antipodean Partnership

A life-saving initiative pioneered in Yorkshire will see thousands of people across Australia and New Zealand receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training on Restart a Heart Day 2017.

Over the last three years, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council (UK) and St John Ambulance, has provided CPR training to 51,000 youngsters at secondary schools across the county to mark the event – with another 25,000 Yorkshire youngsters set to become potential life-savers on Monday 16 October.

Last year, Ambulance Victoria in Australia was impressed with the scale of CPR training at Yorkshire schools and held a series of simultaneous life-saving lessons. Also for the first time, all UK ambulance trusts took part in the event which contributed to 150,581 schoolchildren being taught CPR nationwide.

The Council of Ambulance Authorities has now announced that all 10 ambulance services in Australia and New Zealand have signed up to hold CPR training events on Restart a Heart Day this year.

Jason Carlyon, Clinical Development Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We are really proud of what we have achieved in Yorkshire in terms of the scale of CPR training on Restart a Heart Day. So to think that the partnership we developed with Ambulance Victoria last year has led to all ambulance trusts across Australia and New Zealand taking part in 2017 is fantastic news!! We know bystander CPR can make a huge difference to the outcome of patients in cardiac arrest so providing training to more people across the globe will undoubtedly help to save more lives.”

Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) Chief Executive David Waters said: “It is an exciting opportunity involving each of CAA’s ten emergency service members which have all signed up to participate in Restart A Heart Day on 16 October 2017. There is an incredible amount of enthusiasm for the event and extensive planning is underway to involve the entire community in both countries.”

Tony Walker, Chief Executive of Ambulance Victoria, said 2,300 people survive cardiac arrests in Australia each year and bystanders were crucial to their survival.

“We know when someone is in cardiac arrest that every second counts and effective CPR greatly improves a cardiac arrest patient’s chance of survival,” said Associate Professor Walker.

“We were proud to launch Restart a Heart Day in Victoria last year with the assistance of Yorkshire Ambulance Service and are excited to be able to share the day this year with all other Australian and New Zealand ambulance services.

“Ambulance Victoria has just recorded its best ever cardiac arrest survival rates, including 64% bystander CPR participation for witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and a six-fold increase in the use of publicly accessible defibrillators.

“Campaigns such as Restart a Heart Day will go a long way to improving bystander participation.”

Dr Andrew Lockey, Honorary Secretary, Resuscitation Council (UK), said: “As well as helping to lead the way in the UK for this initiative, it is fantastic to see YAS extending its reach to the Antipodes for this important project as well.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Thousands of people die every year in the UK because people don’t have the skills or confidence to carry out life-saving CPR.

“When someone collapses with a cardiac arrest every minute without CPR or defibrillation can reduce their chance of survival by ten per cent. Knowing CPR is a simple and vital skill, and could save someone’s life.

“We are delighted to hear that Australia and New Zealand ambulance services will be joining us to hold life-saving CPR training on Restart a Heart Day, this October. Schools in the UK can join this international effort by applying for our free Call Push Rescue training kits to help us create a nation of lifesavers.”

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. In Yorkshire, there are around 20 cardiac arrests every day and Yorkshire Ambulance Service is committed to developing both clinical and community-based initiatives to help improve the outcomes of these patients.

Two of the most important factors influencing survival are the early use of effective CPR and early defibrillation. There are now over 1,000 life-saving community public access defibrillators (cPADs) across Yorkshire which can be accessed around-the-clock by members of the public and used on patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest. Communities which don’t yet have a cPAD are being encouraged to purchase one.

If you are thinking about buying a defibrillator for your community, please contact our Community Resilience Department in the first instance by emailing:

If you have not registered your defibrillator, please email dave.jones@yas.nhs.uk