16th October 2015
York College students joined the mission to become a lifesaving source by getting involved in the British Heart Foundation’s Re-start a Heart Day. Around three hundred students from across the College took part in a series of 40 minute sessions to learn how to give CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) and raise awareness of the importance of cardiac arrest.
Students were shown a video featuring Alex Cowes, from Fulford School in York, who spoke about his cardiac arrest experience during a PE lesson. Alex was lucky - staff were trained in CPR and knew how to help him before the emergency services arrived. A further training video demonstrated just what to do in a cardiac arrest situation and students had the chance to have a go at giving CPR themselves, using dummies.
Less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK and in countries where CPR training is more widely taught the survival rates can be three times as high. Ady Fell, Clinical Supervisor with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, delivered the training at York College, he said: “We want to dispel the fear and anxieties around giving CPR. We want people to feel comfortable about recognising when someone is in need and then to be able to help them. Survival rates from a cardiac arrest are very rare but if someone can give CPR this gives the ambulance crew something to work with when they arrive on the scene. People should not be afraid to have a go, it’s better than doing nothing."
Childcare student Jenny Lockwood, formerly of Fulford School, went to school with Alex Cowes who was featured in the training video. She said: “Seeing Alex on the screen really brought home to me the importance of learning CPR. Before now I had seen other people giving CPR but didn’t know how to do it myself. Working on the dummies, it was hard work keeping the compressions on the heart going for even 30 seconds, but I would like to think I could help someone in a life threatening situation, if needed. This is a vital skill to have.”