WATCH: Children take part in world's biggest life-saving lesson

WATCH: Children take part in world's biggest life-saving lesson

Published at 6:03am 18th October 2016. (Updated at 7:02pm 18th October 2016)

More than 100,000 youngsters across the UK and in Australia have been taught how to save lives, thanks to a pioneering campaign which was developed in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) has visited secondary schools across the region on Restart a Heart Day to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to over 20,000 children.

Pupils at Ripon Grammar School and Prince Henry's Grammar School in Otley were among those taking part.

It's the third year that the NHS Trust has organised the event in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council (UK) and St John Ambulance.

Over the last two years, YAS has provided CPR training to 31,000 youngsters at nearly 140 secondary schools in Yorkshire.

More than 600 volunteers have given up their time to provide training on Restart a Heart Day.

Pupils at Ripon Grammar School learning how to perform CPR:

 

Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: "We are incredibly proud of the fact that that our concept for Restart a Heart Day is this year being rolled out nationally - even as far as Australia - ensuring that thousands more youngsters learn this vital skill.

"The event is only possible thanks to the overwhelming response we have had from our own staff and community first responders, as well as volunteers from a wide range of partner organisations, who understand the value of passing on their life-saving skills to others, so I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who will be helping on the day and giving youngsters the skills to save a life."

Dr Andrew Lockey, Honorary Secretary of the Resuscitation Council (UK), added: "Yorkshire Ambulance Service continues to push the boundaries on the number of children that can be trained in CPR. I hope that every child trained on Restart a Heart Day will then have the confidence to make a difference in an emergency situation."

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 an ambulance, the patient's chances of survival double.

In Yorkshire, there were 2,147 occasions in 2014-15 when bystanders attempted CPR, which equates to nearly 27% of all cardiac arrests.

In 2015-16, this increased to 2,219 occasions and 29.85% of all cardiac arrests.

Recent initiatives to increase the figures even further include establishing drop-in CPR training centres and the #CPRSavedMyLife social media campaign which celebrates the lives of patients who have been saved by CPR and encourages others to learn this vital skill.

CPR campaign

Supporters of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service #CPRSavedMyLife campaign

Restart a Heart Day is being supported by a family who knows more than most about the benefits of CPR.

10-year-old Dan Fagg was playing football for his local team when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

He was resuscitated by the referee and other bystanders and is now well on the road to recovery, thanks to their quick-thinking actions.

Dan's mum, Hayley, said: "No-one expects a 10-year-old to suffer a cardiac arrest, but what subsequently happened on the pitch that day saved Dan's life. They acted quickly and were so efficient and didn't stop CPR until the paramedics arrived. How do you thank someone who has done that - they are all superheroes in Dan's eyes."

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has signed up Lizzie Jones as its Ambassador for Restart a Heart Day.

She's the widow of Keighley Cougars player Danny Jones, who died aged 29 after suffering a cardiac arrest during a rugby league match in May 2015.

Lizzie said: "I am proud to become an Ambassador for Restart a Heart Day when thousands of youngsters will be given the skills and confidence to save the life of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

"I have been working hard to provide defibrillators for local rugby and sports clubs, and the promotion of CPR training for schoolchildren is a natural link to this. I am thrilled to be associated with another valuable project which means Danny's death will not have been in vain."