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Future life-savers - Hamer Primary School gets cardiac smart

30 November 2017

Hamer Primary School.

Local schoolchildren got a lesson in life-saving with a special cardiac smart training session on how to use defibrillators.

More than 180 pupils from Hamer Community Primary School, Albert Royds Street, Rochdale, learned the vital skills they would need to help some who has suffered a cardiac arrest in the first minutes before an ambulance arrives.

The children, aged 7 to 11 were taught the recovery position as well as how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator in the first 3 minutes, which increases a person's chances of survival from six per cent to over 74%.

Hiba Iqbal, a year 6 pupil who took in part in the training, said "It was really fun and it's important to learn how to save people's lives and now I would be able to help someone if I needed to."

'We hope that they go home and pass on this vital information to their families'

The training courses were arranged as part of the school's 'Care Week', a week of action about caring for yourself and others. All children throughout the school's nursery, key stage 1 and key stage 2 classes took part in the week of action, learning age appropriate first aid skills such as bandaging, how to call 999 and the Heimlich manoeuvre – a technique used to remove airway obstructions when people are choking.

Debbie Wild, a higher level teaching assistant at the school has been conducting training sessions after she took part in the council's 'train the trainer' course earlier this year. She said: "Teaching the children these important life-saving skills is something we've wanted to do for years and we really pleased that our care week initiative has enabled us to do it. The children were buzzing all week and really took everything on board. We hope that they go home and pass on this vital information to their families and friends and if even just one child does that, then we've done our job."

The school has also provided cardiac smart training for parents at an after school session.

Rochdale Borough Council supports the provision of cardiac smart training in the community and schools through the life-saving and award-winning #RochDefibs project.

'Children will be equipped with vital information for the rest of their lives'

The project, which launched in November 2015, has trained almost 2,000 local people in CPR and defibrillation, including 24 trainers, and placed 33 defibrillators in highly-populated and easily accessible community venues, with plans to increase this in the coming months. The project also helped save the life of Allan Turner, 72, who suffered a cardiac arrest at Tunshill Golf Club in July 2016.

Councillor Donna Martin, the council's cabinet member for children's services, said: "We know that cardiac arrests can affect anybody, at any time and that's why we need everybody to feel confident to act quickly and do their part to help save somebody's life. Teaching children how to perform CPR and use defibrillators is really important because they can be champions for the cause, telling everybody what to do to help someone in need and they are also equipped with that vital information for the rest of their lives. I am very proud of Hamer Community Primary School and I hope that all our schools will follow their shining example and get cardiac smart."

For more information about what to do in the event someone suffers a cardiac arrest visit defibrillators in the Rochdale borough.