16 October 2019

The College has teamed up with a local health and care training provider to offer potentially life-saving CPR and rescue breath training to students in all years across the College.

The roll-out started this week, with 25 students from each year taking the one-hour ‘Restart a Heart’ course at Southwest Training Solutions in the neighbouring City Business Park.

During the course, the students watched a short DVD before being shown by trainer, Amanda Briggs, how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and rescue breath. They then got the chance to carry out the skills on dummies. To help students get the CPR ‘rhythm’ right, they were told to think of the beat to the songs ‘Staying Alive’ and ‘Baby Shark’.

The training included the procedures they should go through before starting CPR - shout for help, dial 999 with the phone speaker on, and look out for any potential dangers around them. They were also shown the life-saving impact of having defibrillators in public spaces.

Mrs Briggs said: “There is a worldwide initiative to train as many people as possible in CPR. At the moment in the UK, fewer than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In Norway, that figure is four in 10. If we achieved that here, we would be saving 5,000 lives a year.

“That’s why improving the survival rate is a key priority for the NHS.”

Mrs Briggs is a former Navy medic and previously worked in A&E and the Medical Assessment Unit at Derriford Hospital: “I’ve seen at first hand how using CPR saves lives. The worst thing you can do is nothing,” she added.

PE teacher Miss Le Page said: “These first groups of 25 students volunteered to do the training, and we now hope to repeat this for further groups - and staff - in the future. We also plan to incorporate life-saving skills into the PE and Health curriculum.”

The College is the first school to work with Southwest Training Solutions in delivering ‘Restart a Heart’ and students said it was a great idea. One sixth former said: “When you think about it, knowing how to save someone’s life is probably one of the best life skills we could ever be taught.”