Campaign's first CPR session trains more than 80 potential lifesavers
More than 80 people became potential lifesavers today - as the first of our free 'Learn to be a Lifesaver' CPR training sessions got under way.
The joint campaign, alongside BBC Radio Suffolk, looks to train as many people as possible in CPR at sessions in seven towns across the county.
Nigel Donkin, fundraising manager at the British Heart Foundation, said it was a pleasure to get involved in the first session, in Sudbury.
He said: “We did five sessions in total - that means 81 people have trained up. In just the Sudbury area that is a large jump in the number of potential lifesavers.”
Mr Donkin said those taking part were first trained in how to recognise whether someone is breathing, how to put them in the recovery position, how to do chest compressions and how to give them rescue breaths.
They were also trained in how to use a defibrillator, a piece of kit that essentially jump starts the heart when someone goes into cardiac arrest.
He said: “They learned a defibrillator won’t activate if the heart is working properly and that the only time it will work is if the heart has gone into defibrillation.
“It is taking away the fear to come to someone’s aid. Everyone left feeling confident they could.”
Mr Donkin said despite it being such an important skill to learn, Sunday’s sessions were also a lot of fun.
“We had a giggle or two during the session,” he said.
“When a teacher mixes what you are learning with a bit of humour you learn quicker.”
Among those taking part in the session was former EADT and Ipswich Star editor Terry Hunt, who collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest while walking through Ipswich in May last year.
Mr Hunt’s life was saved by passerby Lisa Perry, who was also one of the instructors at Sunday’s session.
“I am a living breathing example if someone whose life was saved by someone trained in CPR,” he said. “I’d like to say thank you to all the instructors and everyone who has given their time for free. Without them this wouldn’t be happening.”
The free CPR training has proved popular, with the sessions in Stowmarket and Felixstowe already fully booked. If you would like to book a place, email Suffolk.CPR@bbc.co.uk. To book a spot on an Ipswich session visit www.ipswichfit.co.uk/save-a-life