Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit

07 December 2023

Flying the flag for Yorkshire, from left, Jason Carlyon, Louise Boyes and Helen Smith

Colleagues at Yorkshire Ambulance Service attended the Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit in San Diego where they shared their experiences of what the Trust is doing to improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates.

Core Restart a Heart Team members Jason Carlyon, Community Engagement Manager, Helen Smith, Dispatch Team Leader, and Louise Boyes, Campaigns Manager, were invited to the conference - funded by external sponsorship - to do a workshop about our campaign which has provided CPR training to more than 234,000 young people over the last 10 years.

The session was attended by participants from around the world who will be using our experience and learning to host similar events in locations such as California, Seattle, Colorado and Singapore.

The conference also featured presentations on:

  • How YAS is supporting bystanders who perform CPR 
  • The introduction of our Restart a Heart Ambassador Scheme where students will be trained to provide CPR training to their peers
  • Our experience of telephone guided access and utilisation of Automated External Defibrillators
  • The experiences of YAS and Richland Fire and Emergency Services (Washington) relating to the development of a community resuscitation role.

A 90-second video about CPR made by staff who belong to the York-based Blue Light Theatre Company was shown to conference delegates and came fourth in a competition being run as part of the event.

Wakefield Ambulance Care Assistant Chris Solomons also attended the conference, his sixth Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit, to talk about what has happened since he had a cardiac arrest 13 years ago. During this time, he has travelled 11,500 miles promoting the benefits of CPR and defibrillation.

Community Engagement Manager Jason Carlyon said: “It was a huge honour for us to be invited to attend the Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit to share what we are doing at YAS with an international audience.

“The format, which enables us to train huge numbers of students every year on Restart a Heart Day, certainly attracted a lot of attention, as did our plans to make the event more sustainable by providing students with more in-depth CPR training so they can teach their peers.

“One key theme of the conference was to focus on how we are supporting members of the public who do CPR at the scene of an emergency. We have our post-incident care leaflet which our crews can give to bystanders but we are keen to look at further ways of support.

“It was also interesting to note that many ambulance services, certainly in the US, don’t routinely provide CPR instructions to callers, nor do they give defibrillator activation information as there is a reluctance to have defibrillators in locked cabinets in communities due to fears of theft and vandalism. Our presentation relating to this certainly spiked interest and many couldn’t believe we activated 8,930 defibrillators in the last year.”

Citizen CPR Foundation’s bi-annual Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit brings together anyone interested in improving a community response to sudden cardiac arrest for a conference to connect, learn and discuss the newest insights.

Jason added: “Not only were we able to share information about what we do at YAS but we are now looking at how we can use the learning from others across the world to strengthen the chain of survival for our patients suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest as well as the support we give to bystanders, many of whom are left with emotional trauma.”

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department