An incredible 138 secondary schools across Yorkshire have signed up to receive life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training on European Restart a Heart Day.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) staff and volunteers will visit schools on Monday 16 October 2017 to teach CPR to more than 25,000 children in what will be the biggest event of its kind ever seen in the world.

YAS first delivered the mass training event in 2014 to mark the European Resuscitation Council’s Restart a Heart Day. Over the last three years YAS has provided CPR training to over 51,000 youngsters with support from the Resuscitation Council (UK), British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund and other partner agencies.

For the first time last year, YAS shared its concept for Restart a Heart Day with all UK ambulance trusts which resulted in over 116,734 youngsters learning the skill nationwide. This will be repeated again this year with a national ambulance service target of 150,000.

YAS is delighted to welcome ITV Calendar News presenter Christine Talbot on board as a Restart a Heart Day Ambassador. Christine applauded the 138 secondary schools which have signed up to provide their pupils with skills which may one day save a life.

Christine said: “I am delighted to be an Ambassador for this campaign. Over the years I have covered many stories where lives could have been saved if action had been taken immediately.

“I think this a life skill we should all have and I’m thrilled that so many youngsters will be coming on board.”

Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager for YAS, said: “Every second counts when someone has a cardiac arrest and if a bystander immediately performs CPR, this can double the patient’s chances of survival. By teaching more people how to carry out CPR, we hope to increase the bystander CPR rates which will in turn, improve the survival rates for people who suffer a cardiac arrest.

“The majority of cardiac arrests happen in the home so by learning CPR, these youngsters could one day save the life of someone they love.”

Of the 138 schools which have signed up:

55 are in West Yorkshire, 20 are in East Yorkshire, 31 are in South Yorkshire and 32 are in North Yorkshire.

Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year. If this happens in front of a bystander who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival double.

The BHF supplies free Call Push Rescue training kits (including manikins and a tutorial DVD) to participating secondary schools and community groups across the UK to help people learn life-saving CPR as part of its Nation of Lifesavers campaign.

Sara Askew, Head of Survival at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Sadly, thousands of lives are being lost every year because people lack the confidence and skills to step in and start CPR which could save a life when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest.

“We need as many people as possible to learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and try to save a life when they see someone suffer a cardiac arrest.

“We’re absolutely delighted that so many schools across Yorkshire are continuing to help create a Nation of Lifesavers by learning CPR on Restart a Heart Day.”

Dr Andy Lockey, Honorary Secretary of the Resuscitation Council, said: “Yorkshire Ambulance Service continues to lead the way with its work to increase the number of young people trained in CPR. As a proud Yorkshireman, it is wonderful to see such exemplar activity occurring in my own county, but from a Resuscitation Council perspective it is also fantastic that this good work is helping to inspire the national project.”

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