Armed with 25 Mannequins and a CPR check list, a crew from the West Midlands Ambulance Service trained over 600 students in vital life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation on World Restart a Heart Day.
In the initiative by the European Resuscitation Council, the West Midlands Ambulance Service aimed to train 30,000 children in a single day across the West Midlands to help improve survival rates for those who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital.
Currently less than one in ten will survive an ‘out of hospital’ heart attack and Levi Bennett, a student from Grace Academy, said it is good to understand what you need to do in a cardiac emergency, adding:
“If you don’t know what you are doing, you could panic. If you do understand more what to do, then you won’t stress as much and will be better prepared to help out. The day has also given me an insight into what it’s like to be a paramedic and work for the NHS.”
Said Haule, Year 11, added:
“I think it would be frightening if you don’t know what to do and I didn’t know much about what action to take in a cardiac emergency before.”
The aim on Restart a Heart Day was to train as many students and members of the public as possible to provide CPR to an adult who collapses, improving the likelihood that bystanders will act by calling 999 and performing chest compressions when someone is found in cardiac arrest.
Students at Grace Academy were shown the sequence of steps required in a cardiac arrest situation including checking for life signs, calling for help, chest compressions (hands only CPR), how to use and understand an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), and what a genuine 999 call should be.
Explaining the importance of training more people in CPR, and what happens during a cardiac arrest, Bobby Qayum, Community Response Manager for the West Midlands Ambulance Service, explained:
“The Restart a Heart CPR Training Programme is intended to focus on simple and proven steps of Check, Call and Compress. Time is key when a cardiac arrest happens as the blood from the heart normally flowing around the body has stopped. The vital organs such as the brain are suffering irreversible damage shortly after. This is where CPR is vital and for you to start as soon as you recognise the patient is unresponsive and not breathing. These sessions will teach the students vital skills to recognise a cardiac arrest and step in to perform CPR before the emergency services arrive.
“I believe we can and will make a difference in saving lives from cardiac arrest.”
Seta Bassi, Head of Careers and PSHE, said:
“This has been such a great experience for the students who have learned safety and first aid training, gaining new knowledge and skills, as well as being exposed to careers in the NHS such as what it means to be a paramedic.”
Anu Monga, Principal, added:
“It is such an exciting opportunity for our students to be involved in a global awareness day that could save lives. We believe in developing good human beings who can make a positive contribution to our diverse communities.”
The West Midlands Ambulance Service responds to three thousand 999 calls a day and serves 5.6 million people over 5000 square miles across Shropshire, Hertfordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Coventry, Birmingham and the Black Country.