NEAS Paramedic James Hope is pictured demonstrating CPR

Big hearted schools sign up for life saving lesson on Restart a Heart Day

Hundreds of youngsters set to receive CPR training

Hundreds of school children will be given a life-saving lesson by North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) staff and volunteers on Restart a Heart Day.

On Tuesday, 18 October, a total of 27 schools from up and down the North East will be taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in what will be the biggest event of its kind ever seen in the world.

For the first time this year, all of the UK’s 13 ambulance trusts will be working in partnership to hold simultaneous CPR training events to mark Restart a Heart Day 2016.

It is hoped that 100,000 people across the UK will learn the skill as part of what should be a mass record-breaking CPR training day.

Paramedic Andrea Raine, Education and Development Lead for NEAS, 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 learning CPR, these youngsters could one day save the life of someone they love. There’s no better reason to learn than that.

“We think it’s really important to be involved in Restart a Heart Day. This is the first time we have taken part and we’re really pleased to have so many schools join us from as far north as Berwick and as far south as Guisborough.

“We are hoping to train hundreds of North East youngsters across the region and, on the back of this, we would be looking to train even more schools next year.”

Joining Andrea will be the Trust’s army of volunteers made up of NEAS staff, community first responders, who respond to medical emergencies in their own time on behalf of NEAS, and volunteers from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Nicki Rennison, resuscitation officer at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Heart attacks do not just happen in hospital, in fact the majority happen in the home, so we want as many people as possible to be able to administer CPR until emergency services arrive.

“Our resuscitation officers are supporting Restart a Heart Day by going into local schools alongside ambulance colleagues to make sure pupils learn this essential skill from a young age – after all it could save a life.”

The event has been organised in conjunction with the Resuscitation Council (UK), the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which provides the training equipment free of charge as part of its Nation of Lifesavers campaign, and North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

The BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign aims to equip all young people and adults across the UK with the vital CPR skills to help save a life. To date, nearly one in four secondary schools across the UK have signed up for and are delivering the BHF’s Call Push Rescue training. The simple and interactive kit includes a tutorial DVD which omits the need for an instructor and means the training can be used to teach far more people, led by schools, employers and community groups.

The initiative aims to teach vital CPR skills to all secondary school age children, giving the next generation the skills and confidence to save a life and increasing cardiac arrest survival rates across the UK.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Lives are lost needlessly every day simply because people don’t know how to perform CPR. By teaching schoolchildren these skills, which will stay with them for life, we can help more people survive a cardiac arrest and go home to their families.

“We have already seen young people use this training in real life emergencies.  Participating in this event will increase the number of potential life savers in the North East.

Dr Andy Lockey, Honorary Secretary of the Resuscitation Council, said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure that people, including our loved ones and strangers, have the best chance of survival if they have a cardiac arrest. It’s fantastic news that so many schools across the North East are committed to making a difference by providing their pupils with the skills to save a life.”

The following schools have signed up to Restart a Heart Day 2016:

County Durham:

South Hetton Primary School, Durham

Hurworth School, Hurworth-On-Tees, Darlington

The Hermitage Academy, Chester-Le-Street

New College Academy, Durham

Durham School, Durham

Whitworth Park School, Spennymoor

Northfield School and Sports College, Billingham

St Mark’s Elm Tree Primary School, Stockton-On-Tees

Parkside Academy, Crook

Redcar and Cleveland:

Errington Primary School, Marske by the Sea

St Patrick’s Catholic College, Stockton-On-Tees

Sacred Heart RC School, Redcar

Galley Hill Primary School, Guisborough

The Laurence Jackson School, Saltburn-by-the-Sea


Ashington High School, Ashington

Bellingham Middle School and Sports College, Bellingham

Seahouses Middle School, Seahouses

Northumberland College, Ashington

Berwick Academy, Berwick

Tyne and Wear:

Churchill Community College, Wallsend

Newcastle College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, Sunderland

Furrowfield School, Gateshead

Oxclose School, Washington

St Paul’s Primary School, Sunderland

Millway Centre, Gateshead

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