Islanders young and old are being urged to help save lives by learning CPR on world ‘Restart A Heart Day’ next week.
The potentially life-saving event, which takes place next Tuesday (16), will see eight Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue stations commandeered in an bid to teach around 1000 Islanders CPR.
Pupils from the Island’s schools will learn how to identify when a cardiac arrest is happening and what to do. Sessions will also be held for the public, who will be able to attend between 3 pm and 5 pm.
Louise Walker, head of the ambulance training and community response services for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, says Island survival rates for those who suffer cardiac arrests are better than the national average – and she wants to keep it that way:
“The reason for that is because we have got over 430 public-access defibrillators on the Island. We’re working very closely to ensure people are trained into how to recognise cardiac arrest and how to perform CPR. Already on the Island we’re learning that.”
Louise points to the example of Islander Laura Summers who suffered a cardiac arrest whilst working back in March.
Laura says that if her colleagues did not learn the life-saving skill she would not be here today:
“I was given at the time a two percent chance of survival. I was just finishing my day at work with no warning. I wasn’t unwell, nothing. There were no signs of anything. I was very very lucky that my colleagues and a team of them conducted CPR on me and resuscitated me with a defibrillator.
“I have got two small children, a seven and a nine-year-old. Without the CPR knowledge I wouldn’t be here today.”
Sessions will take place at fire stations in Cowes, East Cowes, Freshwater, Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor.