Grandparents, parents, students and work colleagues from across Leeds have teamed together for lessons in lifesaving.
The Yorkshire Evening Post has helped hundreds of readers learn basic first aid skills to give them the chance to be the difference between life and death in emergencies.
And we are almost half-way towards smashing our target of recruiting an army of 500 first aiders as part of our First Aid For All campaign.
Shocking figures revealed nearly half of parents in Leeds lack the basic skills to save their children’s lives.
But now over 210 of our loyal readers are armed with lifesaving knowledge to cope in emergencies.
We teamed up with St John Ambulance to launch our campaign to encourage more people to learn the skills to help their families, friends and even complete strangers.
David Nicklen, St John Ambulance’s regional manager training and community projects, said the response from the city has been fantastic.
But he warned there are still too many people who would not know what to do to help someone in an emergency.
He said: “The response from the people of Leeds to the First Aid for All campaign has been absolutely brilliant and a real boost for the work of St John Ambulance.
“We’ve seen people of all ages and from all walks of life recognise the urgent need to know basic first aid.
“Parents, grandparents, young people, work colleagues – you name it – they’ve set aside three hours for one of our courses and come out knowing they’ll now do their very best in an emergency.
“We’ve never run a campaign like this in the region before and it’s wonderful that the Yorkshire Evening Post been able to support what we do by telling real life stories to get across the importance of first aid.
“But the work isn’t done yet – there are still far too many people out there without the knowledge to save a member of their family, a friend or a stranger if the need arose.
“I can’t urge readers strongly enough to seize the opportunity to book onto one of the discounted courses as soon as possible to learn these vital skills – and I thank all those that already have.”
Dozens of members of staff from Yorkshire Post Newspapers recently attended a special first aid training session run by St John Ambulance volunteer Linda Mahoney.
They were given tips to cope with choking, how to put someone in the recovery position and how to administer CPR.
And first aiders say that even these simple skills can help to save a live.
YEP reporter Jonathan Brown, who attended one of the special sessions, said: “I found the session really informative, it’s all about giving yourself that peace of mind really.
“I think I’d be much more comfortable in an emergency situation now, as seeing a hands-on demonstration of how to put someone in the recovery position and how to stop someone from choking for example, is bound to stay in your mind better than giving a leaflet a fleeting glance.”
YEP columnist Juliette Bains was given lessons in first when she was at school but she said the special session helped to refresh her knowledge.
She said: “It was so long ago since I did a first aid course that I struggled to remember any of it.
That’s why I signed up for the session, and I’m glad I did because I learned a lot, and I’m determined to remember it all this time
“The quick first aid session helped to refresh my memory and allowed me to pick up some new first aid advice.
“I’d recommend it to anyone, as you never know - it might just save a life.”
Over the past few months we have featured a number of inspirational stories from people who owe their lives to first aiders.
Quick-thinking volunteers saved Paige Hurley’s life after she collapsed because of an underlying heart condition while she was travelling in Australia.
The seemingly healthy 22-year-old, who is a third year student at Leeds University, owes her life to volunteers who helped her after she suffered a cardiac arrest.
Paige, now 24, is backing the YEP’s First Aid For All campaign and said: “It just makes you realise that there is a lot of kindness in strangers.”
And super first aider Gary Dunford, who has clocked up thousands of miles transporting patients and medics across Yorkshire, has been shortlisted for a national award for his efforts.
Gary, 42, has been named as a finalist in St John Ambulance’s Everyday Heroes Awards.
Gary, who has undergone a double kidney transplant, said: “Most of the incidents I go to there are people who don’t know first aid. It’s not hard and it makes a difference.”
* St John Ambulance are offering a three-hour course at a discounted rate of just £20.
To book your place, telephone 01924 262 726 and press option four and quote discount code 20EFAAA.
First Aid courses will be held at Shine Business Centre, Harehills Road, on: February 24, 1pm-4pm and March 25, 9.30am-12.30pm
First Aid courses will also be held at Leeds Church Inst, New Market Street, on March 18, 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm until 4pm.