Monday 29th April 12.15pm – Chris Kowalik.
More than 15,000 schoolpupils have been taught essential lifesaving skills as part of an educational campaign by Herefordshire HeartStart supported by West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The charity, in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, was officially launched in 1996 and set out to teach thousands of people a variety of techniques including CPR. In 2004 it began a scheme to target schools.
Since 2004, the charity has trained 455 teachers to become Heartstart instructors for them to pass on their knowledge to their pupils. A high percentage of schools in Herefordshire now deliver the HeartStart course with more than 3,000 pupils receiving training in 2011.
Loraine Coleman, Herefordshire HeartStart Co-ordinator/Project Manager, said: “I would like to see all schools in Herefordshire involved in this incredible scheme. The British Heart Foundation are currently still funding the schools project in Herefordshire, they provide the Free Training for Schools staff, they fund the venue and training (i.e. at no cost to the school). For new schools joining the scheme, the British Heart Foundation will pay for replacement cover for those staff attending training. Once a school affiliates to the scheme, they are provided with all of the equipment and training resources, i.e. Resusci-Anne manikins, training manual, DVD and hand-outs for the pupils, all at no cost to the school.
“It really is a win-win for the schools. They get to deliver the Heartstart skills at no cost to themselves, the pupils benefit by learning these vital lifesaving skills and can then potentially save a life in their community.”
The instructor training course runs for a full day and enables teachers to teach HeartStart to their pupils. Refresher courses for school staff are also offered to ensure they teach to the national standards and implement any new guidelines.
Anyone who doesn’t want to become an instructor but who still wants to be taught basic lifesaving skills is welcome to sign up for Herefordshire HeartStart’s free two-hour course. Anyone aged 10 or over is welcome. You’ll learn the skills of detecting the symptoms of a heart attack, delivering CPR and dealing with choking, loss of consciousness or serious blood loss.
Loraine added: “If you have children at a school in Herefordshire, why not check to see if they are part of the HeartStart scheme. If they’re not, then please encourage them to join.”
For more information or to book a course, visit http://www.herefordshireheartstart.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Co-ordinator/Project Manager Loraine Coleman on 0845 60 60 654.
Note to Editors: Pictured – HeartStart course delivered at Broadlands Primary School, February 2013