HUNDREDS of school children have been given the skills to save lives after joining a global world record attempt.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service enlisted the support of 240 Year 8 students at Richmond School and Sixth Form College in a world bid to train 100,000 children in CPR in a day.
St John Ambulance trainers Michelle Robinson and John Briggs and YAS paramedic Paula Spence also helped the Richmond School students master the ability to restart a heart after a cardiac arrest.
In Yorkshire alone, 25 people a day suffer a cardiac arrest. Half of the patients are beyond help while around 12 can be successfully resuscitated.
“CPR can make the difference between life and death,” YAS assistant director of paramedic practice Mark Millins told students.
“You can bridge the gap in the eight minutes it takes for us to reach the scene by keeping the patient alive – so we really do need your help.”
Students were instructed in chest compressions, clearing airways and mouth to mouth techniques, as well as how to use a defibrillator.
Mr Millins had high praise for Richmond School students. He said: “If you do what you have learnt today in a real-life situation you will have doubled the chances of the person surviving.”
For twins Matthew and James Anderson, 12, the experience provided them with new-found skills.
Matthew said: “I have really enjoyed the training. I had never done CPR before so I feel I have learnt something new and very worthwhile.”
Richmond School biology teacher Nicola Walker added: “Our students performed brilliantly well and I am sure if their new skills are needed they will be more than happy to use them.
“Living in a rural community, where emergency services and medical help can be miles away, makes learning CPR even more important and it’s the aim of the school and sixth form college to train as many students as possible.”
Mr Millins and Ms Spence were also on hand to accept a cheque for more than £600, raised at a charities evening, in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance, which was presented by Year 8 students Dillan Hollas and Tegan Smith, both 12.