3 September 2015 - Primary Care: School Staff Members Trained To Be Life Savers

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has helped to teach 22 primary school staff basic life support at a training session at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Partington, Manchester, just as the new term begins.

The staff which included, teachers, teaching assistants and support staff, were taught the latest techniques in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by Dave Blowers, Community Specialist Paramedic for Partington.

Dave explained how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), which is a small portable machine that can diagnose and treat life threatening cardiac arrests. The school has an AED installed on the premises so it can be used to help treat these conditions quickly.

After the training, Dave said: “I had a really enjoyable day teaching the staff at Our Lady of Lourdes. These techniques are simple to learn, but can really save lives, especially in an emergency situation where every second counts. The feedback from the staff was extremely positive, and they said they feel much more confident in dealing with life-threatening emergencies.”

The role of Community Specialist Paramedics (CSP) is a relatively new one for NWAS as Dave is one of ten Specialist Paramedics based within communities throughout the North West. CSPs have a more direct link working with local community based healthcare teams to help provide improved quality of care and outcomes for patients. They help to inform and educate members of the public when it is appropriate to call 999, to help avoid any unnecessary trips to hospital, and they are also available to be called out to any emergency incidents.

Dave is intending to offer further life-saving courses to the community of Partington in the near future, as well as developing a Community First Responder (CFR) Scheme. CFRs are volunteers who offer support to the ambulance service as they are called out to attend to incidents within their local community.   

CFRs receive extensive training and specialist equipment and help to provide the earliest possible intervention for patients in those first critical few minutes until the arrival of the paramedics. This is especially vital in life threatening situations such as cardiac arrests, however most often the role they play is one of reassurance as they wait with the patient for the ambulance.

To find out further information on how to become a CFR go to: www.nwas-reponders.info