The borough of Rochdale is set to get a boost of new life-savers as more volunteers gain the skills to train residents in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation.
On Wednesday, 15 February 2017, 13 volunteers from schools, children's centres, colleges, the youth service and medical centres took part in a 'Train the Trainer' session which will enable them to teach people in the community what to do if somebody suffers a cardiac arrest.
Attendees learned how to conduct chest compressions and rescue breaths and how to use a defibrillator. Only an estimated 40% of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR before an ambulance arrives. Survival chances can triple if CPR and defibrillation is administered before medical help arrives.
'CPR really is a life-saving skill'
It is hoped that the volunteers will share the life-saving skills they learned with as many people as possible to decrease the number of early deaths in the borough.
Debbie Wild for Hamer Community Primary School completed the train the trainer session. She said: "It is important to learn how to administer first aid especially CPR because it really is a life-saving skill. By taking part in this course I'll be able to teach the children at my school how to save a life and they can pass the information on to their families at home."
The training 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).
'Giving our residents a fighting chance should they suffer a cardiac arrest'
The project, which launched in November 2015, has already trained over 1,000 people in CPR and placed 32 defibrillators in highly-populated and easily accessible community venues.
In July 2016, the CPR training and a defibrillator provided by the 'Roch Defibs' project helped Geoff Severn, a retired financial advisor and Paul Gratton a printer, save the life of their friend Allan Turner, 72, who suffered a cardiac arrest at Tunshill Golf Club.
Allan suffered a total of 9 cardiac arrests and went on to have 6-valve heart bypass surgery. He is now well on the way to a full recovery, he said: "I attended a training course myself, not realising that I would be the first recipient, so I would encourage everyone to get the training then there will always be someone who can help in situations like mine."
'The skills to help somebody having a cardiac arrest are simple to learn'
In the UK people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have only an 8.6% chance of survival. The 'Roch Defibs' project aims to increase the chances of survival in the borough of Rochdale to 45%, similar to the rates seen in Denmark.
Councillor Janet Emsley, Rochdale Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing, said: "I am extremely proud of the vital work we've been doing to give our residents a fighting chance should they suffer a cardiac arrest. It is important to remember that anyone can save a life and although you don't need to be trained to do so, it can help prepare people for what can be a scary situation, so I urge everyone to attend a training session and tell as many people as you can about it."
Sara Harris, chain of survival lead for Greater Manchester at NW Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: "The skills to help treat somebody who is having a cardiac arrest are simple to learn. Even if you have no previous medical training, you can learn how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator in an hour."
Hopwood Hall College, Middleton Campus took part in the 'train the trainer' session and provided the training room FREE of charge.
For more information about the 'Roch Defibs' project, CPR, defibrillators and where they are located in the Rochdale borough visit
defibrillators in the Rochdale borough