Life-savers across Staffordshire and beyond have been teaming up to teach the next generation all about CPR as part of Restart A Heart Day.
The campaign is run by the British Heart Foundation to prepare young people for situations that might seem a little intimidating but could save somebody’s life.
Each year, West Midlands Ambulance Service attends up to 4,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity supports the service at an average of 1,000 of those incidents with its three air ambulance helicopters and recently launched critical care car.
Community first responder and student paramedic Karl Stanfield said: “You get people who are quite scared when they are out in the community, if they see something, they can do something about it.
“Learning it at a young age would be beneficial for them.”
This year, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are joining forces to raise awareness of World Restart A Heart Day.
Karl added: “It’s about the community approach because you’ve got all of the major services like West Midlands Ambulance Service, I think it’s more of a collective thing, as you’re working together for the community itself.”
More than 25,000 students have been learning about CPR this week, and events like this are key in helping save people’s lives in the future.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott said: “By training children at school that CPR is easy to do we make sure that they aren’t afraid should it ever happen to a loved one of theirs.
“But we also stress that they need to act immediately.
“We know that many of the children go home and tell their parents about what they have been up to and they, in turn, learn the skills which increase the chances of someone surviving.
“Our staff say saving a patient in cardiac arrest is the greatest success they can have so imagine what it would be like if your child made the difference to your life.”
One of the ways the children are taught how to restart a heart is through videos and demonstrations that they will never forget.
Remember this famous advert? Former footballer and actor Vinnie Jones demonstrates hands-only CPR to the tune of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees:
Ian Roberts, air operations manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “When dealing with someone who has gone into cardiac arrest, time is of the essence as they’re effectively not receiving oxygen to their vital organs, including the brain.
“When we arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest, by ambulance, air ambulance or the critical care car, those who are likely to survive are the ones who are already receiving CPR, either by a bystander, friend or loved one.”
Murray MacGregor, Communications Director for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “We work with the British Heart Foundation and Midlands Air Ambulance to provide for staff and volunteers who give up their time to go into these schools.
“The British Heart Foundation provides mannequins that are used for this and our staff then provide the basic life support teaching so that the children can understand what is required to effectively save someone’s life.”
He added: “The reality is if you have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the UK today, you only have a 7% chance of surviving to two weeks after that cardiac arrest.
“Essentially, you have a 93% chance of dying which is a horrendous figure.”
If you want to learn how to restart a heart, the British Heart Foundation offers Heartstart training – two-hour sessions that teach people the skills they need to save a life.
To find out more about the Heartstart training, visit https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life/how-to-do-cpr/heartstart-training and find your nearest course.
If you took any photos of the training today, remember to post them on social media and tag @MAA_Charity and @OFFICIALWMAS with #RestartAHeart.