Thirty four prefects from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe took part in the Heart Start programme, the British Heart Foundation’s initiative which aims to significantly improve the chances of survival for people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community.
The training, delivered by the Army Reserves from 207 Field Hospital, Manchester, teaches the pupils the skills needed to keep someone alive until professional help arrives.
Every year around 140,000 people in the UK suffer a heart attack. Many of these people then suffer a cardiac arrest and die before reaching hospital. Without resuscitation, cardiac arrest is always fatal. Performing CPR immediately can double the chances of survival.
As well as learning the life-saving skills, the programmes promotes community spirit, inclusiveness, and individual self-esteem and it gives students confidence, by preparing them to cope with emergency situations.
“The active hands-on approach of the course really appealed to our pupils,” explained Mr Darren Mawn, Head of Year 11. “It enhances the pupils’ life skills and it’s fun to learn.”
Mr Mawn added: “The pupils learned how to assess a conscious or unconscious casualty; how to make a 999 call; how to put the casualty in the recovery position, open an airway, check for normal breathing; and how to perform CPR, help someone who is choking, manage someone with a suspected heart attack and deal with serious bleeding.”
“It was a great privilege working with the pupils on the day and I would offer my congratulations to those who participated in the programme. Their enthusiasm was tremendous and they participated with great gusto,” commented Lt Col PD Cook who led the training.
“Life-threatening emergencies are relatively common and many more people can be saved if simple life-saving skills are performed immediately by someone at the scene,” said Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The training focused on the practical skills of emergency life-saving, providing maximum time for practice and hands-on learning using resuscitation training manikins. The prefects responded well to the implied responsibility of being able to save a life”