Volunteers at the Heart of World's Biggest CPR Lesson

16 October 2018

Helen Smith

Ahead of Restart a Heart Day, we are turning the spotlight on the hundreds of volunteers who will be giving up their time to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to 25,000 youngsters!

On Tuesday 16 October 2018, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) hopes to smash the milestone of providing a total of 100,000 schoolchildren with the life-saving skill since the annual event began five years ago.

The success of the event - which has now reached national and international audiences - is largely thanks to the teams of volunteers (around 900 this year) who welcome the opportunity to pass on their CPR skills to secondary school pupils across Yorkshire.

Jason Carlyon, Clinical Development Manager at YAS, who developed the event in Yorkshire with the British Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council (UK), said: "To think that 210 volunteers helped us to deliver our first Restart a Heart Day in 2014 and this has grown to about 900 volunteers this year - a 343% increase - is phenomenal.

"The majority of volunteers are our off-duty staff and Community First Responders, but this year we will be supported by over 30 partner organisations, including fire and rescue services, hospitals, St John Ambulance, STEM Ambassadors, student medics, Mountain Rescue and Lifewise.

"Many have personal experiences of either giving or receiving CPR and understand the value of how it can really make a difference to cardiac arrest patients. I'd like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of them!"

Student Paramedic Sean Dooley, who works and lives in Harrogate, has taught CPR on Restart a Heart Day for the last two years.

He said: "Originally I wanted to visit my old school, Harrogate High School, to pass on my skills. Early CPR saves lives so if someone can start CPR before we arrive on scene, it can make a big difference to the outcome of the patient."

St John Ambulance volunteer Russell Blinman, of Sowerby Bridge, was inspired to become involved in Restart a Heart Day last year after suffering a heart attack in 2016.

"I've had to perform CPR twice, once on my father and once on my father-in-law," said Russell. "It's a vital life skill which we should all learn as it means everyone has the potential to be a life-saver."

Community First Responder (CFR) Anna Roberts, co-ordinator of the Royston (Barnsley) CFR scheme, thinks everyone should learn CPR.

Anna, who lives in Carlton, said: "I have done CPR nine times in the last 13 years and have seen how it can make a massive difference to a patient's outcome. Everyone should learn and that's why events such as Restart a Heart Day are so important."

Paramedic Jason Hedges, who works and lives in Scarborough, has been involved in Restart a Heart Day since it began in 2014.

He said: "Restart a Heart Day is a fantastic event to be a part of! Giving young people the skills to do CPR means they are more likely to have the confidence to step in and help someone in cardiac arrest."

Helen Smith, of Garforth, Leeds, a Team Leader in the Emergency Operations Centre at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, has the challenging role of allocating the 900 volunteers to the 121 participating schools as well as helping on the day.

Helen said: "I'll be teaching both my children at Garforth Academy this year. It's important that everyone knows what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest and appreciates how doing something, rather than nothing, can make such a big difference."

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, the patient's chances of survival double.

CPR-trained volunteers - with an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate - who would like to get involved in Restart a Heart Day 2018 should register their interest at yas.restartaheart@nhs.net

List of schools participating in Restart a Heart Day 2018

East Yorkshire - 16

Beverley Grammar School

Beverley High School

Bishop Burton College, Beverley

Cottingham High School

Headlands School, Bridlington

Hessle High School

Howden School

Hull Trinity House Academy

Hymers College, Hull

Newland School for Girls, Hull

Pocklington School

Riverside Special School, Goole

St Mary's College, Hull

Wilberforce College, Hull

Wolfreton School and Sixth Form College, Willerby

Wyke Sixth Form College, Hull

North Yorkshire - 32

All Saints RC School, York

Archbishop Holgate's School, York

Bedale High School

Bootham School, York

Cundall Manor School, Helperby

Eskdale School, Whitby

Fulford School, York

Harrogate Grammar School

Harrogate High School

Holy Family Catholic High School, Carlton

Huntington School, York

Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate, York

Richmond School

Risedale Sports and Community College, Catterick Garrison

St Francis Xavier School, Richmond

Scarborough Sixth Form College

Selby College

Selby High School

Settle College

Sherburn High School

Skipton Girls' High School

St Augustine's School, Scarborough

St Peter's School, York

Stokesley School

Tadcaster Grammar School

The Minster School, York

The Read School, Drax

The Rubicon Centre, Selby

The Skipton Academy

The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form, Leyburn

Upper Wharfedale School, Threshfield

York College

South Yorkshire - 24

All Saints Catholic High School, Sheffield

Al-Mahad-Al-Islami, Sheffield

Ash Hill Academy, Doncaster

Aston Academy, Sheffield

Dinnington High School, Sheffield

Ecclesfield School, Sheffield

High Storrs School, Sheffield

Handsworth Grange School, Sheffield

Holy Trinity 3-16 School, Barnsley

Horizon Community College, Barnsley

Maltby Academy, Rotherham

Maple Medical PRU, Doncaster

Notre Dame High School, Sheffield

Outwood Academy City, Sheffield

Outwood Academy Shafton, Barnsley

Saint Pius X Catholic High School, Rotherham

Sheffield Springs Academy

South Axholme Academy, Doncaster

Springwell Learning Community, Barnsley

Stone Hill School, Doncaster

The Hayfield School, Doncaster

The Rowan Centre PRU, Rawmarsh

Thomas Rotherham College, Rotherham

Yewlands Academy, Sheffield

West Yorkshire - 44

Airedale Academy, Castleford

All Saints Catholic College, Huddersfield

BBG Academy, Birkenshaw

Brighouse High School

Calder High School, Mytholmroyd

Calderdale Pupil Referral Unit, Halifax

Carlton Bolling College, Bradford

Castleford Academy

Crawshaw Academy, Pudsey

Crofton Academy, Wakefield

Fulneck School, Leeds

Garforth Academy

Health and Caring Services, Leeds City College

Highfield School, Ossett

Holmfirth High School

Honley High School

Institute of Islamic Education, Dewsbury

Kettlethorpe High School, Wakefield

Kirklees College, Huddersfield

Leeds City Academy

Leeds West Academy

Lightcliffe Academy, Halifax

North West SILC, Leeds

Ossett Academy and Sixth Form College

Outwood Academy Freeston, Normanton

Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley

PRISM Independent School, Bradford

Pudsey Grangefield School

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield

Queensbury Academy, Bradford

Ralph Thoresby School, Leeds

Royds Hall Community School, Huddersfield

Royds School, Leeds

Ryburn Valley High School, Sowerby Bridge

Shelley College, Huddersfield

Silcoates School, Wakefield

St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Dewsbury

The Brooksbank School, Elland

The Crossley Heath School, Halifax

The Halifax Academy

The North Halifax Grammar School

Upper Batley High School

Wakefield Independent School

Wetherby High School

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department