Teacher Issues Rallying Call to Yorkshire’s Secondary Schools to Sign up for Restart a Heart Day

14 February 2019

A Yorkshire teacher who used cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to save the life of a three-year-old is appealing to the county’s secondary schools to take part in Restart a Heart Day 2019.

Frances Hammond brought little Maryam Ugradar back to life after she fell into a pond in the back garden of her home in Mirfield last year.

The PE teacher is keen to use her story to encourage schools to register for Restart a Heart Day on Wednesday 16 October 2019 when Yorkshire Ambulance Service hopes to provide CPR training to 30,000 students in one day!

I know from personal experience that CPR training is so important because it gives people the skills and confidence to save someone’s life,” said Frances, who lives in Mirfield and works at Queensbury Academy in Bradford, which will be one of the first schools to register for the this year’s event.

I would like to appeal to all Yorkshire’s secondary schools to take part in Restart a Heart Day and provide their students with the training they need to make a massive difference to anyone who has a cardiac arrest. I see Maryam quite often as we are neighbours; she is four now, such a beautiful, happy, smiling girl who is so full of life and that makes me feel so proud.”

Over the last five years on Restart a Heart Day, Yorkshire Ambulance Service has provided free CPR training to more than 105,000 youngsters at 72% of the secondary schools across Yorkshire.

Currently in the UK, less than one (8.6%) in ten people survive a cardiac arrest. If we achieved the same survival rates of countries like Norway (25%), where CPR is taught in schools, an additional 100 lives could be saved each week - the equivalent of approximately 5,000 every year.

Jason Carlyon, Clinical Development Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Providing bystander CPR in the first few minutes of someone having a cardiac arrest is vital and Frances’ story is testimony to that. But we also know about the many lives which are lost because people don’t have basic, life-saving CPR skills to act in life-threatening situations.

The more youngsters we can provide with CPR skills on Restart a Heart Day, the better the bystander CPR rates which will in turn have a positive effect on cardiac arrest survival rates. We have hundreds of off-duty staff, volunteers and helpers from partner organisations who give up their own time to support the training on Restart a Heart Day – so we would encourage secondary schools across Yorkshire to take part!”

Sponsored by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity, the event is delivered in partnership with the Resuscitation Council (UK), British Heart Foundation (BHF) and St John Ambulance. The equipment required will be provided free of charge by the BHF and there will be certificates of completion for all participating pupils.

If your secondary school would like to take part in the event, you can register now. The deadline for applications is Friday 5 April 2019.