Yorkshire Ambulance Service Gears Up for World’s Biggest Life-saving Lesson

11 October 2016

More than 100,000 youngsters across the UK and in Australia will receive a vital life-saving lesson on Tuesday 18 October 2016 – thanks to a pioneering initiative which was developed in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) will visit 106 secondary schools across the county on Restart a Heart Day to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to more than 20,000 children.

It is the third year that YAS has organised the event in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council (UK) and St John Ambulance (over the last two years YAS has provided CPR training to 31,000 youngsters at 137 secondary schools in Yorkshire). For the first time this year, our concept for Restart a Heart Day has been rolled out across ambulance trusts nationally – even as far as Australia – ensuring that more than 100,000 youngsters learn this vital skill in one day!

Ambulance Victoria in Australia was also impressed with the scale of CPR training at Yorkshire schools on Restart a Heart Day and will be holding a series of simultaneous events culminating in a video link closing activities in Australia and handing over to the UK for CPR training to start at Silcoates School in Wakefield.

Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We are incredibly proud of the fact that that our concept for Restart a Heart Day is this year being rolled out nationally – even as far as Australia – ensuring that thousands more youngsters learn this vital skill.”

Dr Andrew Lockey, Honorary Secretary of the Resuscitation Council (UK), said: “Yorkshire Ambulance Service continues to push the boundaries on the number of children that can be trained in CPR. I hope that every child trained on Restart a Heart Day will have the confidence to make a difference in an emergency situation.”

Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year. If this happens in front of a bystander who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival double. 
In Yorkshire, there were 2,147 occasions in 2014-15 when bystanders attempted CPR which equates to 26.69% of all cardiac arrests. In 2015-16, this increased to 2,219 occasions (29.85% of all cardiac arrests).

We are committed to developing new and innovative ways to increase this figure further; recent initiatives include establishing drop-in CPR training centres and a #CPRSavedMyLife social media campaign which celebrates the lives of patients whose have been saved by CPR and encourages others to learn this vital skill.

The event is being supported by a Doncaster family who knows more than most about the benefits of CPR. Ten-year-old Dan Fagg was playing football for his local team when he collapsed in cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated by the referee and other bystanders and is now well on the road to recovery thanks to their quick-thinking actions

Dan’s mum Hayley said: “No-one expects a 10-year-old to suffer a cardiac arrest but what subsequently happened on the pitch that day saved Dan’s life. They acted quickly and were so efficient and didn’t stop CPR until the paramedics arrived. How do you thank someone who has done that – they are all superheroes in Dan’s eyes.”

This year we are also proud to have Lizzie Jones as our Ambassador for Restart a Heart Day. Lizzie is the widow of Danny Jones, Welsh International and Keighley Cougars Rugby League player, who died aged 29 after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match in May 2015. The event has also been supported by Emmerdale actors, local sports clubs including Sheffield United Football Club, Hull Kingston Rovers and the Hull Tiger’s Trust, affiliated to Hull City Tigers.

Lizzie, who will be visiting Silcoates School on Restart a Heart Day, said: “I am proud to become an Ambassador for Restart a Heart Day when thousands of youngsters will be given the skills and confidence to save the life of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest. I have been working hard to provide defibrillators for local rugby and sports clubs and the promotion of CPR training for schoolchildren is a natural link to this. I am thrilled to be associated with another valuable project which means Danny’s death will not have been in vain.”

The event - sponsored by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund - is possible thanks to a partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which supplies free Call Push Rescue training kits (including manikins and a tutorial DVD) to participating schools as part of its Nation of Lifesavers campaign.

Sara Askew, Head of Survival at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Sadly less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK. If we are to improve this shocking statistic we need more people with the skills and confidence to perform CPR. Thousands of children across Yorkshire will learn this life-saving skill on Restart a Heart Day and we are urging all secondary schools to get involved with the training on the day and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.”

More than 600 volunteers are giving up their time to provide training, including YAS staff, community first responders, St John Ambulance helpers as well as staff from Yorkshire’s fire and rescue services, hospitals in Harrogate, York, Barnsley, Dewsbury, Hull, Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Doncaster and Bradford, Humberside Police, Teesside University Student Paramedic Society, South Tees NHS Trust, York University School of Nursing, Hull dental trainees and Hull Clinical Commissioning Group.

Jason said: “The event is only possible thanks to the overwhelming response we have had from our own staff and community first responders, as a well as volunteers from a wide range of partner organisations, who understand the value to passing on their life-saving skills to others so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who will be helping on the day and giving youngsters the skills to save a life.”

Media organisations will have interview/photograph opportunities at the following schools (if you would like to attend any of the other participating schools, contact the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Press Office to make arrangements):

  • Silcoates School, Wakefield (8.45am) 
    Lizzie Jones, widow of Welsh International and Keighley Cougars Rugby League player Danny Jones, will be helping with CPR training and talking to youngsters about her experience of why CPR training is vital.
  • There will be a video link from Ambulance Victoria in Australia completing CPR training in Melbourne and handing over the ‘CPR baton’ to Yorkshire.
  • One of the CPR trainers here will be cardiac arrest survivor Chris Solomons, who works with our Patient Transport Service, and has travelled the world talking about the benefits of CPR training and defibrillators.

The Hayfield School in Doncaster (10.30am)

  • 10-year-old cardiac arrest survivor Dan Fagg and his mum Hayley will be taking part in CPR training.

Aston Academy, Sheffield (9am)

Hull Trinity House Academy, Hull (9am)

Archbishop Holgate’s School, York (11am)

For more information about our initiative to mark Restart a Heart Day, visit http://www.restartaheart.yas.nhs.uk/day/ 

List of Participating Schools
East Yorkshire - 20
Cambian Beverley School, Beverley
Beverley High School, Beverley
Bishop Burton College, Beverley
Cottingham High School, Hull
Focus School, Cottingham Campus, Cottingham
Headlands School, Bridlington
Hessle High School, Hessle
Howden School, Howden 
Hull College Group, Hull
Hull Trinity House Academy, Hull
Hymers College, Hull
Malet Lambert School, Hull
Newland School for Girls, Hull
Pocklington School, York
Sirius Academy North, Hull
Sirius Academy West, Hull
South Holderness Technology College, Hull
The Boulevard Centre, Hull
Wilberforce College, Hull
Wyke 6th Form College, Hull

North Yorkshire - 30
Archbishop Holgate's School, York
Barlby High School, Selby
Bootham School, York
Cundall Manor School, York
Focus School, York Campus, York
Fulford School, York
Holy Family Catholic High School, Carlton, Goole
Malton School, Malton
Northallerton School and Sixth Form College, Northallerton
Queen Ethelburgas College, York
Richmond School, Richmond
Ripon Grammar School, Ripon
Risedale Sports and Community College, Catterick Garrison
Saint Francis Xavier, Richmond
Scarborough Pupil Referral Service, Scarborough
Scarborough Sixth Form College, Scarborough
Selby College, Selby
Selby High School, Selby
Settle College, Settle
Sherburn High School, Sherburn in Elmet
Skipton Girls' High School, Skipton
South Craven School, Keighley
St Augustine's School, Scarborough
St Peter's School, York
Tadcaster Grammar School, Tadcaster
The Minster School, York
The Read School, Selby
The Skipton Academy, Skipton
Thirsk School & Sixth Form College, Thirsk
York High School, York

South Yorkshire - 21
Al-Mahad Al-Islami, Sheffield
Aston Academy, Sheffield
Balby Carr Community Academy, Doncaster
Darton College, Barnsley
Dearne Valley College, Rotherham
Dinnington High School, Sheffield
Ecclesfield School, Sheffield
Handsworth Grange Community Sports College, Sheffield
King Edward VII, Sheffield
Notre Dame High School, Sheffield
Oak Tree High School, Sheffield 
Rotherham Aspire Pupil Referral Unit, Rotherham
Saint Pius X Catholic High School, Rotherham
Sir Thomas Wharton Community College, Doncaster
South Axholme Academy, Doncaster
Stocksbridge High School, Stocksbridge
The Dearne ALC, Rotherham
The Hayfield School, Doncaster
The Rowan Centre PRU, Rotherham
Thomas Rotherham College, Rotherham
Westfield School, Sheffield

West Yorkshire - 35
All Saints Catholic College, Huddersfield
Batley Grammar School, Batley
BBG Academy, Cleckheaton
Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College, Bradford
Calder High School, Halifax
Calderdale Pupil Referral Unit, Halifax
Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, Leeds
Carlton Bolling College, Bradford
Castleford Academy, Castleford
Gateways School, Leeds
Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy, Hemsworth
Highfield School, Wakefield
Hipperholme Grammar School, Halifax
Honley High School, Holmfirth
Institute of Islamic Education, Dewsbury
Jaamiatul Imaam, Clayton, Bradford 
Kirklees College, Huddersfield
Moor End Academy, Huddersfield
Ossett Academy, Ossett
Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley
Pudsey Grangefield School, Leeds
Queensbury School, Bradford
Rastrick Independent School, Brighouse
Silcoates School, Wakefield
St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Dewsbury
The Crossley Heath School, Halifax
The Featherstone Academy, Pontefract
The Grange School, Ossett
The Halifax Academy, Halifax
The South Leeds Academy, Leeds 
Upper Batley High School, Batley
Wakefield City Academy, Wakefield
Wakefield Girls' High School, Wakefield
West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre, Leeds
Zakaria Muslim Girls High School, Batley