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Moray helps create Nation of Lifesavers

By Staff Reporter

MORAY Council has today joined a national campaign which will see youngsters taught life-saving skills in the classroom.

The authority, along with Falkirk and Fife Councils, has pledged to join the 29 other Scottish local authorities signed up to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland's National of Lifesavers initiative.

That means every single council in Scotland has committed to work with the nation's heart charity to deliver the programme, which works to ensure every pupil is trained in vital CPR skills before they leave secondary school.

The council's head of schools and curriculum development Vivienne Cross said: "We're committed to providing training for all schools as we believe it's necessary and valued.

"All schools have the BHFs Call, Push, Rescue training kits. We work with Keiran's Legacy and BHF Scotland to ensure as many young people in Moray as possible receive CPR training."

The Nation of Lifesavers campaign started in May 2018 when Glasgow City Council became the first of Scotland's 32 local authorities to commit to training pupils. In less than a year, the charity has achieved its ambition of 100 per cent coverage.

Senior policy and public affairs manager David McColgan said: "This is fantastic news. We are absolutely overwhelmed by the response we have received to our Nation of Lifesavers campaign and delighted to have achieved our ambition in such a short space of time. To do so is testament to the support we have received from Scotland's local authorities, wanting to work together to make a difference in their communities.

"Far too many lives are lost in this country when people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital, partly because too few bystanders have the expertise or confidence to perform CPR. Training youngsters in school is key in helping to change this."

Medical professionals have praised the campaign and believe it could have a significant impact on the nation's poor survival rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, where currently only one in twelve people survive.

Dr Andy Lockey, the vice president of Resuscitation Council UK, said: "The achievements by BHF Scotland in securing such widespread support from local councils to deliver CPR training as part of their school curricula are nothing short of amazing. The Resuscitation Council (UK) has proudly supported this campaign from its inception. We believe that the widespread 'local buy-in' will reap huge dividends in terms of survival rates in the years to come. To put it simply – this could result in thousands of Scottish lives being saved. I firmly believe that this approach will be used in the future as a global exemplar for excellent practice."

There are around 3500 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Scotland each year and for every minute without CPR, the chances of surviving drop by up to ten per cent. In countries where CPR is more widely taught, survival rates as high as 1 in 4 have been reported. International evidence has shown that in countries like Denmark, which legislated for all secondary pupils to learn CPR and adopted best practice in emergency response, survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests have tripled in recent years.

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