Life-Saving Training and Equipment in Mole Valley
Two members of Mole Valley's voluntary Heartstart team visited West Ashtead Primary School on Wednesday 11 October 2017 to give Year Five pupils basic age-specific Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training.*
Murray Clark and Sean Agate gave CPR training to 87 nine to ten year olds covering essential basics such as the 999 emergency call procedures, the recovery position and CPR. Every pupil was given the opportunity to practice CPR techniques on manikins, and everyone received a certificate at the end.
Over the past two years, Mole Valley District Council (MVDC), South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) and the British Heart Foundation have worked in partnership to deliver 46 Heartstart training courses across the district. The free training sessions have given more than 860 residents aged 16 and above the skills to administer potentially life-saving aid.
In addition to running Heartstart sessions across Mole Valley, MVDC and SECAMB have assisted with the installation 43 Public Access Defibrillators (PAD) in local communities across the district. The latest PAD to be installed in Mole Valley was at the St George's Christian Centre in Ashtead, in partnership with Ashtead Residents' Association. Early defibrillation can triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival and several more PADs will be installed in Mole Valley in the coming months.
Headmaster at West Ashtead Primary School, Mr Hart, said: "All the children showed a real interest in learning a new and potentially life-saving skill, and had great fun in doing so. I was very happy for our school to support this initiative and would like to thank MVDC and the Heartstart trainers in particular, who were excellent."
Councillor Lucy Botting, Executive Member for Wellbeing, said: "The Heartstart scheme has been very successful so far and is a great initiative that really has the potentially to save lives. This is why we are now shifting our focus to work with local schools and looking at a range of ways in which we can increase training for younger people. Studies in Scandinavia show that if basic CPR training is given to 12 year olds, survival rates of cardiac arrest victims in those locations are boosted. Our aim in the long-term is to support the Heartstart team to offer CPR training to teachers, in order for them to be able to pass those skills on to their pupils."
*the training was supporting the UK's Resuscitation Council's "Restart a Heart Day" on 16th October - an annual initiative aimed at training as many people as possible in CPR