THE Bolton News is today launching a campaign to make sure every child in Bolton leaves school knowing how to save a life.
To coincide with Valentine’s Day, we have joined forces with Bolton West MP Julie Hilling to promote the teaching of emergency life-saving skills.
The main aim of the campaign is to ensure that all pupils in Bolton know what to do when faced with someone who is suffering a cardiac arrest, choking or bleeding.
Ms Hilling’s ultimate ambition is to see emergency life-saving skills taught across the country as part of the national curriculum.
THE Bolton News is today — Valentine’s Day — launching a campaign to ensure that every child in Bolton leaves school knowing how to save a life in an emergency.
We have joined forces with Bolton West MP Julie Hilling to promote the teaching of emergency lifesaving skills in schools.
The primary aim of the campaign, called Every School-Leaver a Lifesaver, is to ensure that all schools in Bolton — primary and secondary — give children a simple two-hour course that teaches them what to do when faced with someone who is suffering a cardiac arrest, choking or bleeding.
Ms Hilling said: “I cannot bear the thought of watching a loved one or anyone die in front me and just standing back or knowing that I might have been able to do something to help. “To me, that’s the key message behind life-saving skills.”
Ms Hilling’s ultimate ambition is to see emergency life-saving skills taught across the country as part of the national curriculum, but the government
has so far rejected the idea, despite being given a 100,000-signature petition in support of the idea. She instead decided to start at home by encouraging every school in her own constituency to start teaching the course.
We have now teamed up with Ms Hilling and widened the campaign to every school in Bolton. If a school chooses to sign up to teach life-saving skills as part of their curriculum, they can integrate the Heartstart training, which is co-ordinated by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), into their lessons.
The training last about two hours and covers basic skills such as assessing an unconscious patient, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), dealing with choking or serious bleeding and helping someone that may be having a heart attack.
To bring the course to schools, one teacher would need to go on a training day with the BHF, and the charity would cover the cost of a supply teacher for the day.
Ms Hilling explains: “Once the teacher has had their training with BHF, they can then deliver the course to pupils and other staff.
“The two-hour course could be taught in tutor time in 15-minute slots or all in one go. Children would be taught again every year so by the time they leave, the skills will be embedded in their memory.”
As a secondary aim, we would like every school in Bolton, and other public
places, to have their own defibrillator — a life-saving device that can be used to restart the heart when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.
Muamba hit the headlines when he collapsed on the pitch during the Whites’ FA Cup clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane last March.
He had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, but his life was saved after he was treated on the pitch with CPR and a defibrillator before being rushed to the London Chest Hospital.
His heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes. Hearts and Goals, which is
run jointly by the Wanderers, the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, the
North West Ambulance Service and the Arrythmia Alliance, aims to have 500
defibrillators placed in public places across the UK, including schools, to be used by the public in emergencies.
While anyone can use a defibrillator, thanks to its simple design and instructions, a casualty stands a better chance of survival if a rescuer can administer CPR first.
By massaging the heart and keeping blood moving around the body, the damage caused to the brain can be reduced. About 100,000 people in the
UK die each year from sudden cardiac arrest.
“I would like to see defibrillators in primary and secondary schools,” says Ms Hilling. But I think it is important that youngsters and adults have the emergency life support training too. For example, if someone goes into cardiac arrest, they may have to wait for the defibrillator to arrive.
“If they know CPR, they could reduce the brain damage caused to that person.”
● TOMORROW: Reporter Charlotte Dobson takes the two-hour course to
find out how easy it is to learn how to save someone’s life.
Aims of the campaign
THE Bolton News and Bolton West MP Julie Hilling have joined forces to promote the teaching of emergency life-saving skills in schools.
We want every school child in Bolton to leave school knowing how to save a life by taking part in a simple two-hour course that teaches people how to deal with the most common life-threatening emergency situations, such as cardiac arrest, bleeding and choking.
We have written to every school in Bolton to ask them to pledge to teach the course. As a secondary aim, we would like every school in Bolton, and other public places, to have their own defibrillator — a life-saving device that can be used to restart the heart when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.
To this end, we are supporting the Hearts and Goals campaign, which is being promoted by former Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba.
Any school that wants to sign up to our campaign and teach pupils how to save a life can contact reporter Charlotte Dobson by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org .uk — and we will help you arrange the Heartstart training.
For more information about defibrillators and the Hearts and Goals campaign, go to heartrhythmcharity.org.uk/www/557/0/Hearts_and_Goals/.
JULIE Hilling has been campaigning to promote emergency life-saving skills
since she was elected in 2010. Her campaign has been heard both in Westminster and in her constituency. She is now focusing on schools in Bolton.
The issue first came to her attention when she sat as a member of the parliamentary education bill committee. Ms Hilling said: “Schools were
writing in with stories about what children had done because they had life-saving skills. It really sparked my imagination and then I went to an event with the British Heart Foundation and heard a young doctor talking about the importance of those skills.
“I found it very inspiring and it really made me think that these skills could potentially make a huge difference.”