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Children taking part in world's biggest life-saving lesson

Children taking part in world's biggest life-saving lesson

Published at 6:02am 16th October 2017. (Updated at 5:18pm 16th October 2017)

More than 25,000 youngsters across Yorkshire are getting a lesson in how to save lives.

Hundreds of volunteers are visiting secondary schools on Restart a Heart Day to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which can double someone's chances of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest.

Last year, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) saved more cardiac arrest patients than ever before, with 310 surviving compared to 240 in 2015-16.

Although survival rates have increased in Yorkshire over the last two years, figures across the UK are still low compared to countries like Norway (around 25%), where children learn CPR in schools.

Jason Carlyon, Clinical Development Manager for YAS, said: "CPR is undoubtedly the most important step in the chain of survival. If this can be carried out in the critical few minutes before the arrival of an ambulance, it can mean the difference between life and death.

"In 2016-17, 42% of cardiac arrest incidents in Yorkshire were witnessed by a non-clinician who could potentially have started CPR. It is therefore essential to provide CPR training to thousands of youngsters on Restart a Heart Day, but also to use the event as an opportunity to encourage others to learn this vital skill too."

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

51,000 children in Yorkshire have already benefited from CPR training.

Pupils at Ripon Grammar School taking part in last year's Restart a Heart Day:

 

For the second time, Restart a Heart Day has been adopted by all ambulance trusts across the UK, ensuring that more than 150,000 youngsters learn this vital skill nationwide in one day.

All ambulance services in Australia and New Zealand are also taking part for the first time, thanks to the life-saving initiative pioneered in Yorkshire.

The event, which is sponsored by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund, is possible thanks to a partnership with the British Heart Foundation.

More than 900 volunteers are giving up their time to provide training, the majority of which are YAS staff and Community First Responders, but they also include representatives from Yorkshire's four fire and rescue services, staff from hospitals, student paramedics, nursing students and students from Sheffield Medical School.

Harrogate's Rossett School, which is taking part in Restart a Heart Day, is also using the event to raise money for a defibrillator in Starbeck.

Fundraisers say that the level crossing on the A59 can make it difficult to get help quickly in an emergency.

First Aid and Health Manager Helen Rogers said: "With a defibrillator and CPR, somebody needs to be doing something for that person within the first four minutes. If it's 10 minutes and the crossing is down, you've lost your prime time for helping somebody, so it's really important that a defibrillator goes in to Starbeck.

"Some people think that you live so near to the hospital that it doesn't really matter, but in the case of Starbeck, it really does matter."

Restart a Heart Day at Outwood Academy Ripon

Students at Outwood Academy Ripon who were taught CPR by Livius Training

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