The Irish Heart Foundation has launched a CPR training programme aimed at secondary schools.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) should be administered as soon as possible to a person who has suffered a cardiac arrest (their heart has stopped beating). The first few minutes after a cardiac arrest are vital - if the pumping activity of the heart is not restored within a couple of minutes, the brain suffers irreversible damage.
Every minute without CPR reduces a person's chance of survival by 10%, therefore it is essential that as many people as possible are familiar with this first aid technique.
The Irish Heart Foundation, in association with Bank of Ireland, has launched the CPR 4 Schools training programme. This equips post-primary school teachers with the skills to deliver CPR training to their students.
The programme is being rolled out nationwide and by 2019, almost three in four schools (72%) will have been trained.
The Irish Heart Foundation's expert CPR 4 Schools team will deliver training via education centres to teachers, who will then be provided with an online programme that can be taught effectively in the classroom.
Participating schools will be provided with free kits worth €600, which consist of training manikins to encourage hands-on practise.
Commenting on the programme, the Irish Heart Foundation's basic life support expert, Brigid Sinnott, pointed out that schools are the ‘ideal setting' to reach young people and teach them this crucial skill.
"This programme teaches students to recognise cardiac arrest early, listen to the ambulance dispatcher, perform CPR and know how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). By starting CPR immediately in an incident of cardiac arrest, the victim's chance of survival can be doubled.
"We are delighted to be rolling out the CPR 4 Schools programme free of charge to train the next generation of lifesavers who will be able to respond to such emergencies," she said.
For more information, or to register a school, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org