Rochdale Borough Council staff are leading by example when it comes to being cardiac smart and life-saving ready – by using their lunch breaks to learn how to perform life-saving Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
24 members of council staff took part in the first #RochDefibs lunchtime learning session on Tuesday, 8 August 2017 to learn how to perform CPR and defibrillation on cardiac arrest sufferers. Performing the technique in the crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives can triple a person's chances of survival.
'As many people as possible should feel able and confident to help someone'
Helen Leach, a legal officer for Rochdale Borough Council organised the session to help staff learn the vital skills they would need should someone suffer a cardiac arrest. She said: "I was involved with the aftermath of a car crash last year when I had to do CPR. When I arrived there was a small group of people just staring into the car and I was shocked at their reluctance to get involved for fear of making the situation worse. As a result I am very keen for as many people as possible to feel able and confident to help someone should they ever need to."
It is hoped the session will be the first of many with another already scheduled for September 2017.
The lunchtime learning session was part of the life-saving 'Roch Defibs' project, run by the council's public health team in partnership with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS). The project aims to increase the chances of survival in the borough from 8.6% to 45%, similar to the rates seen in Denmark.
'I'm pleased to see our very own staff learning these crucial skills'
Since its launch in November 2015, the project has trained over 1,600 local people in CPR and defibrillation, including 24 trainers, and placed 32 defibrillators in highly-populated and easily accessible community venues. The project also helped save the life of Allan Turner, 72, who suffered a cardiac arrest at Tunshill Golf Club in July 2016.
Councillor Jaqueline Beswick, Rochdale Borough Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "I am so pleased to see our life-saving defibrillator project growing from strength to strength and our very own staff learning these crucial skills that could save somebody's life. Defibrillators are fabulous and intelligence machines that provide step by steps instructions so they're easy for everyone to use and you don't need training. However, training can give you the confidence you may need to use one should you ever need to, so I encourage everyone to book onto a session near you."
Defibrillators in the Rochdale borough - more information about the #RochDefibs project, CPR, defibrillators and where they are located in the Rochdale borough.