Almost 800 people in the district benefitted from free CPR training as part of Mid Ulster District Council’s Restart a Heart Day this week.
Organised by the Council, in partnership with the Northern and Southern Health and Social Care Trusts, and supported by The British Heart Foundation NI, The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Cormac Trust, the free training sessions for the public took place at Dungannon Leisure Centre, Cookstown Leisure Centre, Greenvale Leisure Centre, Magherafelt, and Ranfurly House, Dungannon.
A number of Post Primary Schools in the district also participated in the training, including: St. Pius X College, Rainey Endowed School, Integrated College, Dungannon and Holy Trinity College.
Restart a Heart Day, which took place on Tuesday, 18 October, is an annual European initiative which aims to raise awareness of the importance of bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to increase the chance of survival when someone has a cardiac arrest and is part of a wider action plan on Community Resuscitation and defibrillators being led by the Council.
Each year in Northern Ireland there are around 1,400 out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs).
OHCAs can occur in homes and public spaces. Every minute counts when someone has an OHCA: every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10%. But many people simply don’t have the skills and confidence to step in and help, and this training will provide these vital skills.
Each session was delivered by local CPR volunteers organised through the Health Trusts.
Speaking at one of the evening training sessions, the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Trevor Wilson, said, “I am delighted the Council, in partnership with the Northern and Southern Health Care Trusts, organised this Restart a Heart Day to help deliver vital CPR training to almost 800 people in Mid Ulster which is a staggering amount. The incredible figure is testament to how beneficial people found the training and validates the reasons why the Council chose to organise it in the first place.”
“If the free training helps save one life in the future it will have been worthwhile in my opinion. As a result of today, hundreds of people in our area have been properly trained and will be more confident performing bystander CPR in the case of a cardiac arrest, this could prove crucial in keeping the victim alive until ambulance crews arrive.”
The Chair concluded, “I would like to thank everyone involved in the day for making it the success it has been - from the Council, the health trusts, the volunteers who delivered the training and mostly the people who came out in their droves to take advantage of it.”
For more information on the day, or to hear what other initiatives will be taking place, contact Environmental Health at Mid Ulster District Council on 03000 132 132. Check out the Council’s various Facebook pages for extensive photo coverage from the training sessions that took place during the day.