London, UK – A record number of people have been trained in life-saving CPR for the fourth annual European Restart a Heart day (16 October 2017). Events all across the UK saw 195,000 young people instructed in essential skills to become the lifesavers of the future.
Restart a Heart day was organised in partnership by the Resuscitation Council (UK), The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Every UK Ambulance service took part in the event and, for the first time, private training providers also participated. In addition, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine celebrated the 50th anniversary of its specialty by organising a mass CPR-training event also under the banner of Restart a Heart.
Around 60,000 people in the UK have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year.  Less than 10% of these people will survive.  If CPR is started early, it can double the person’s chances of survival.  The more people educated in crucial life-saving techniques, the more people will survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the future.
Schools, community centres, hospitals and emergency service stations hosted events across the UK to provide more trained bystanders to improve nationwide chances for survival. Many events included cardiac arrest survivors and celebrities – including cardiac arrest survivor and ex-France international footballer David Ginola who attended a Restart a Heart day event at Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls.
Federico Moscogiuri, Chief Executive Officer at the Resuscitation Council (UK), said:
“This year’s Restart a Heart Day was a great success. It will have been a rewarding and hopefully inspirational day particularly for many thousands of young people across the country, who are the lifesavers of today and tomorrow. The Resuscitation Council (UK) is proud to have played a leading role in this important event alongside our partner organisations, and we look forward to training even more people in essential life-saving skills next year.”
“We also had a further 19,000 people join in online and learn CPR by playing Lifesaver – our interactive, online game-in-a-film, which now also has a BAFTA-nominated virtual reality version. Both versions can be accessed and downloaded at www.lifesavervr.org.uk .”
Judy O’Sullivan, Director of Survival at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“We are thrilled with the success of Restart a Heart Day, which has seen a record number of young people across the UK trained in skills which could one day help them save a life. Out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates have remained stubbornly low in the UK for far too long, with fewer than 1 in 10 surviving. Training young people in CPR could help to save as many as 5,000 lives every year in the UK.
“Since the BHF launched its Nation of Lifesavers campaign in 2014, over 3 million people have been trained in vital CPR skills. We believe that every schoolchild should be given the opportunity to learn CPR, so that they have the skills and knowledge to save a life.”
Mel Fox, Director of Training at St John Ambulance, said:
“It is encouraging to see that so many schools participated this year and now thousands of children have these life saving skills. There is clearly an appetite for learning first aid in schools, as we saw recently with the high number of schools that took part in our Big First Aid Lesson. These are small, but important steps to achieving our ultimate goal of making sure every child has the chance to learn first aid before they leave school.”
Joe Mulligan, Head of First Aid Education at The British Red Cross, said:
“Thanks to the success of Restart A Heart Day, so many more young people will be equipped with the skills to help in a first aid emergency. Learning first aid helps to increase confidence levels and we believe it’s a life skill everyone should have.
The British Red Cross would like everyone to have the opportunity to learn first aid throughout their lives, starting at school, so that a generation of people can be equipped with the skills they need to help in an emergency.”
Jim Bridge, Station Manager at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“This is only the third year we have taken part in Restart a Heart Day and it was our most successful yet. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) staff and volunteers gave CPR instruction to over 5,000 young people, in over 70 schools across the whole of Greater Manchester.
Jason Carlyon, Clinical Development Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS, Trust said:
“This was undoubtedly our most successful Restart a Heart Day with more than 25,000 youngsters receiving CPR training in Yorkshire alone. It’s fantastic to see the event becoming a firm fixture on calendars nationally and we were delighted to support the roll-out of the training event to all ambulance trusts in Australia and New Zealand for the first time this year, ensuring that thousands more youngsters learned this vital skill across the globe.”