Heartstart pupils presented with life saving certificates

Pupils from North Lanarkshire Council High Schools, who were taught how to save lives in a health initiative, were proudly presented with their life saving certificates at a recent awards ceremony.

The pupils from high schools in Monklands participated in the North Lanarkshire Council Heartstart programme which is co-ordinated in Scotland by the British Heart Foundation in partnership with St Andrew’s First Aid.  The aim is to teach pupils what to do in life-threatening emergencies and during the programme pupils were given basic life support skills to enable them to save lives.

Since 2008 the Heartstart programme has been delivered in North Lanarkshire schools and managed by a North Lanarkshire Council Heartstart coordinator who oversees the training programme and provides ongoing support and advice. St Andrew’s First Aid provides fully trained and qualified First Aid Trainer Assessors. Once the programme has been delivered within a school, staff are then able to become affiliated to Heartstart and receive training packs, publicity and reference material and access to seminars and support from Heartstart UK.

Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, believes that working in partnership with other voluntary organisations to promote the benefits of First Aid is really important.  “Heartstart is just one of the ways that we network with partners to ensure elements of First Aid are taught in Scotland. The programme includes skills such as dealing with choking, serious bleeding and helping someone that may be having a heart attack.  Knowing what to do in an emergency is critical.  If you can do CPR you can buy the time needed for professional help to arrive and help save the life of your loved one. Being able to do CPR more than doubles their chance of survival.”

Heartstart co-ordinator Charlie Fawcett said: “The programme has been designed to articulate with the Curriculum for Excellence and contribute to learners’ wider skills which will benefit them and their wider community.  Such life-saving skills and the associated gain in self-efficacy is particularly important given the health and social challenges facing the communities in which many of the NLC schools are situated.”

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