Paramedics and volunteers at SCAS to teach CPR in schools across region

Oct 7, 2022 | Members e-Bulletin, News, Proud

Paramedics and volunteers at South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) will teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillator awareness to students at more than 20 schools across the region next week.

The sessions form part of the organisation’s week of activities building up to World Restart a Heart Day on Sunday, 16 October, and will be supplemented by a range of other events to offer everyone the chance to learn life-saving skills.

SCAS launched its build-up to World Restart a Heart Day with an innovative 24-hour ‘CPR-a-thon’ challenge led by South Central Ambulance Charity and US technology company Tanium, which has a UK headquarters in Reading.

The event took place on 22 and 23 September and saw staff work in teams of eight to learn CPR and then maintain 100 compressions a minute on training manikins for 24 hours – around 144,000 in total over the period – and raised more than £12,000 for the charity.

Restart a Heart Day activities in the UK are led each year by the Resuscitation Council UK with the aim of raising awareness of CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the community.

SCAS, via the community engagement and training team and South Central Ambulance Charity’s volunteer community first responders, has its own packed diary of events which includes face-to-face sessions, Facebook Live online training sessions and a number of social media case studies.

CPR Restart a heart 2022

The week will be launched with a video message from SCAS medical director Dr John Black and feature two Facebook Live demonstrations which will take place on Thursday, 13 October and Sunday, 16 October via the link, with SCAS divisional medical director Professor Charles Deakin, a professor of resuscitation and pre-hospital emergency medicine, delivering a message after the event on Restart a Heart Day.

Nic Dunbar

In between there will be social media films involving scenarios of CPR being performed in public, a discussion about AEDs and a case study of cardiac arrest survivor-turned volunteer community first responder David Jeffery.

The focus of the week preceding the day itself will be a major drive to teach CPR in schools across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire, with SCAS mascot 999 Ted set to make an appearance at one of the schools.

On Restart a Heart Day, teams from SCAS will host a CPR training session in the Westquay Shopping Centre in Southampton from 10am to 4pm.

The events will culminate with a ‘Your Health Matters’ talk for SCAS members (sign up here) on cardiac arrest and life-saving skills by Mark Ainsworth-Smith, consultant pre-hospital care practitioner at SCAS, on Tuesday, 18 October from 6pm at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Paramedic Nicola Dunbar, head of community engagement and training at SCAS and Restart a Heart Day lead (pictured), said: “Our fantastic team of staff and volunteers at SCAS and South Central Ambulance Charity have put an excellent programme of events together to mark World Restart a Heart Day and we look forward to teaching as many people as possible these vital life-saving skills.”