First aid training for every school in Rutland
Teenagers have been learning vital first aid skills – including how to use a defibrillator, what to do if someone stops breathing and how to administer CPR.
Around 160 Year 10 pupils at Uppingham Community College also learned what to do if someone is unconscious through drink and how to help someone who has been rescued from drowning.
The training was instigated by High Sheriff of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness who wants Year 10s at every school in the county to receive the training during her year in office.
Training is carried out by a Leicester-based group led by eminent cardiologists Dr Doug Skehan and Dr William Toft.
Dr Furness said: “During the training sessions participants are equipped with essential skills which will stay with them for life.
“It means they can go out into Rutland and beyond and, if the occasion arises, make the ultimate difference by saving a life.
“My husband is a medic and I heard via friends about the work carried out in schools in the Leicester area.
“It sounded like a very good idea indeed and I got in touch with the team to see if we could bring it to Rutland.
“I am delighted that training has now started and I look forward to seeing other schools benefitting from this vital training.”
Dr Furness said that in Norway – where cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is taught in schools – those who have cardiac arrests outside a medical environment have a 40 to 50 per cent chance of survival. In Britain it is less than 10 per cent.
She added: “Knowing what to do, and having the confidence to do it, accounts for the difference in these statistics.
“I hope that, by the end of my year in office, Rutland will be an even safer place to live.”
As well as Uppingham Community College, training has also already taken place at The Shires special school in Oakham, and Dr Furness hopes it will be carried out at Casterton College Rutland, Rutland County College and Catmose College soon.
Oakham School, Uppingham School, and Harrington School have also been approached to get involved.
Uppingham Community College principal Jan Turner said: “This was a very, very worthwhile piece of training.
“It’s a really impressive venture that could save lives.”