Watch: Year 7 students at Harrogate High School learn how to save a life

Year 7 students at Harrogate High School have joined some 25,000 other schoolchildren across the country for a lesson that could save someone's life.

Monday, 16th October 2017, 6:31 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:45 pm
Harrogate High School students test their skills on a dummy with the help of YAS staff.

Around 900 volunteers have visited 126 schools across Yorkshire this morning, to teach CPR as part of 'Restart A Heart Day' today (Monday October 16).

The region-wide event has been organised by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS), in a bid to improve the survival rate of patients that suffer a cardiac arrest outside hospital.

But here in Harrogate, former Teacher at Harrogate High School (HHS) and Voluntary Community First Responder for the YAS, George Wilson, has already been making some serious headway.

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Harrogate High School students test their skills on a dummy with the help of YAS staff.

Last year, George trained every staff member and student at the school in performing CPR to ensure that everyone on site would be able to respond in an emergency situation.

Now, with the arrival of a new group of students in September, George has enrolled the Year 7s to receive the same life-saving training - and he plans to do the same, every Restart A Heart Day to come.

George said: "After becoming a Community First Responder I realised how important it was that as many people in the population knew how to do CPR as possible, so last year I taught the whole school, in groups, and all the staff, so everyone on site knows how to do CPR.

"Joining Restart A Heart Day with Yorkshire Ambulance was an ideal opportunity to get the Year 7s who have joined this year trained, so that we maintain 100 per cent cover for CPR."

Harrogate High School students test their skills on a dummy with the help of YAS staff.

As well as their session with several paramedics and staff from Harrogate District Hospital, students also heard from Harrogate woman Carolyn Bjelan.

Carolyn made the headlines last year after she saved the life of her husband when he suffered 'a massive cardiac arrest' and needed CPR immediately.

Explaining to HHS students that she had been trained in CPR during her role as a Brownies leader, she said her husband 'wouldn't be here today' if it wasn't for her training.

Last year, YAS saved more cardiac arrest patients than ever before, but while survival rates in Yorkshire have increased in the last two years, the average amount of people that survive across the UK is only around 10 per cent.

George said "In Norway the out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rate is slightly more than double the rate in this country, and it's nothing to do with ambulances or hospital care its purely down to the fact that CPR is part of the national curriculum, so virtually everyone in Norway knows how to do CPR.

"If someone collapses in the street everyone around them knows exactly what to do."