Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has teamed up with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to deliver emergency first aid training to children in the Barrow area.
The training, known as Heartstart, develops CPR and emergency response skills including the use of a defibrillator which could help save lives.
Almost 70 year six pupils from two Barrow primary schools, Greengate Junior School and St George’s School, attended the training and learned what to do if someone is choking, bleeding, suffers a heart attack or is unconscious.
Lauren Watson, Chain of Survival Coordinator at NWAS, explained: “These sessions are really practical and get the children fully involved. They took it all in and had lots of questions for us. There’s a lack of basic first aid skills in this age group and we believe that needs to change. But it’s not just about teaching first aid; it’s about building confidence too. The children leave knowing what to do if they’re in a situation where someone needs their help and have the confidence to put their skills into action.”
The students learned how to use a defibrillator and practiced CPR on training mannequins. Thomas Liversidge, a student from St George’s School, who attended the training said: “I now know how to carry out CPR and maybe one day it might just help me save a life.”
Paula Hillman, Deputy Head at Greengate Junior School, said: “The training made our year sixes feel like trusted young adults, which is just what they want. They were really interested in the content and loved the practical bits – it was perfect for this age group. Many now want to continue their first aid training which is great.”
As well as saving lives, Heartstart training also gives the children a chance to learn more about what being a paramedic entails and encourages them to consider a potential career in this area.
The children had the opportunity to ask lots of questions as well as have a look at all of the equipment in the ambulance.
Pauline Preston, Business Manager, from CPFT added: “We were keen to work together with NWAS to arrange the training using our contacts in local schools. We want to encourage local communities to get more involved in healthcare and by working with children we hope to spark an interest at a young age. As the training was such a success we now plan to roll it out in further schools across the area.” –