Topsham School gets a ‘Heartstart’ on livesaving skills

Posted on: 11 March 2013

Teachers and pupils from Topsham School have been learning vital lifesaving skills.

The school has signed up to the free ‘Heartstart’ programme, which teaches simple skills that can be used in a life-threatening emergency in order to help save lives.

Staff and Year 6 pupils have been taught skills such as assessing an unconscious patient, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), dealing with choking, serious bleeding, and helping someone that may be having a heart attack. 

The course is designed for pupils aged 10 and upwards, but some emergency lifesaving skills, like making a 999 call or placing someone in the recovery position, can be learnt by much younger people and will be rolled out to the rest of the school in April.

“At The Topsham school, we value the importance of preparing the children for the future, so that they can become active citizens,” said Headteacher Claire Browne. “The Heartstart training programme is a really clear and structured way to teach them basic lifesaving skills. Even the very youngest children can help in an emergency, by knowing how to call 999 or 112. We want to make sure that the children in our care are prepared and confident to help save a life.”

The Heartstart programme is part of the national campaign by the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to teach all children how to save a life and to get this vital information included as part of the national school curriculum. It is being delivered across the country by Walsall Health Authority.

Teachers from The Topsham School have been trained by Phil Jevon, who is the Resuscitation Officer at Walsall Manor Hospital, so that they can deliver the Heartstart programme to pupils.

Phil Jevon, Heartstart Training Supervisor, explained: “To become affiliated to the Heartstart Schools Programme, the school needs to have a suitably qualified training supervisor. My role as training supervisor is to provide ‘train the trainer’ sessions for the teachers, so that they can then teach the emergency life support skills to their pupils. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation is important, if you can do CPR you can buy time needed for professional help to arrive and save the life of your loved one.”

The training delivered through the Heartstart programme also ties in with the basic lifesaving skills which children in Year 6 have been learning as part of their topic work on explorers this term.
The event was attended by Hugo Swire MP and Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Councillor for St Loyes and Topsham.
Councillor Leadbetter said: “I was delighted to attend. I think this scheme is a really good initiative, you never know when you may need to use these vital skills and learning them when young is an excellent idea.” 

Information about the campaign can be found on the Resuscitation Council UK’s website:

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