Life saving CPR training made available to every community in Greater Manchester
~ Pilot project to equip public with life saving skills as just 44% of people in the North West know CPR ~
Today, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have launched a project to improve survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests across the region.
As part of the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign, the charity has provided every fire station in Greater Manchester with CPR training equipment. This means 41 fire stations are equipped to facilitate CPR sessions in communities across the Greater Manchester region with this life saving skill.
This initiative builds on the recent launch of a partnership between GMFRS and NWAS, which sees firefighters responding to cardiac arrests.
As part of European Restart a Heart Day (October 16), fire service crews and paramedics will visit a number of secondary schools across Greater Manchester to facilitate CPR sessions for pupils, using the BHF’s innovative Call Push Rescue training equipment.
All GMFRS fire stations are community resources which are available for members of the public to use and firefighters regularly hold CPR training sessions for local groups.
Last year, NWAS said they responded to 5,486 incidents in Greater Manchester where the patient had suffered a cardiac arrest. This highlights the need to increase skills and confidence across the region, to give every person the best chance of survival.
A survey of adults in the North West by the BHF reveals that just 44% know CPR.
· Just 36% of adults in the North West would be confident of performing immediate CPR if someone collapsed in front of them
· 61% of people would be worried about knowing what to do if someone collapsed with a cardiac arrest in front of them
· 64% of those who were worried said they feared making things worse by trying to help
· 45% of those who were worried admitted they would feel helpless
· Only 20% of people were able to correctly identify the signs2 that someone has had a cardiac arrest
On Friday 16 October, the BHF is launching ‘Mission CPR’, a campaign that will see around 35,000 schoolchildren across the UK learn CPR on the day, and at least 35 schools across Greater Manchester will be taking part. The campaign is part of the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers strategy which aims to equip all young people and adults with the CPR skills to save a life. Since its launch one year ago, 95 schools in Greater Manchester have been awarded Call Push Rescue CPR training kits.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Survival rates for cardiac arrest are critically low in the North West and far too many lives are lost needlessly because not enough people have the skills and confidence to carry out life saving CPR.
“Sadly, you are most likely to witness a cardiac arrest at home which is why it’s so important that more people are trained and are able to act in that situation. Performing CPR in those vital immediate minutes after a cardiac arrest can, in some cases, double a person’s chance of survival.
“This unique partnership between three life saving organisations will give everyone across Manchester easy access to learn how to help save a life and create a Nation of Lifesavers.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s County Fire Officer, Peter O’Reilly, said: “We’re really pleased to be joining the fight for every heartbeat and providing young people across Greater Manchester with basic life-saving skills.
“Heart disease can affect people of any age and at any time so, as an emergency service we see it as our responsibility to help make everyone aware of heart health and how they can help in a medical emergency.
“Our firefighters are trained and experienced in CPR and the use of life-saving equipment such as defibrillators so we want to pass on our skills to as many people as possible to ensure they have the best possible chance at helping to save a life.”
NWAS Community Engagement Manager, Andrew Redgrave said: “Earlier this year we launched our Cardiac Smart campaign to have the installation of AEDs in public places a legal requirement, in the same way that fire extinguishers are. Those who suffer a cardiac arrest will receive treatment when the ambulance crew arrives but if a member of the public can start that process while help is on the way, it can make a huge difference to their chances of survival.”
Jenny Grey, 20, helped to save her neighbour’s life when he suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in the middle of the night. The second year medical student at Manchester University said: “Without having learnt CPR and basic life support I am certain that my neighbour's outcome would have been far worse than it was. I am so thankful for having known what to do in this situation, adrenaline truly kicked in and allowed me to focus on helping to keep my neighbour alive, whilst remaining calm and encouraging others there to help out with the CPR too. My training had given me the confidence to use my skills in practice, instead of feeling helpless in this kind of situation. You never expect to be in such a difficult situation, but it can happen so unexpectedly, and that is why I can't stress enough how vital it is for everyone to get themselves trained in basic life support and CPR. It could really be the difference between life or death, whether it is for somebody you know, or a bystander in the street.”
Spokespeople from each organisation and Jenny Grey are available for interviews at the media event detailed below.
To help BHF create a Nation of Lifesavers please visit www.bhf.org.uk/lifesavers