As part of its role in Safer Watford – the town’s community safety partnership – Watford’s Garston-based Firefighters have delivered a session on CPR and choking to Year 6 pupils.
See Watford's Firefighters deliver CPR training to Year 6 pupils.
St Catherine of Siena primary school in Garston is the first school in the county to receive this type of training.
The children received an introduction to basic CPR and choking, putting their learning into practice on dummies.
The pilot training has been spurred on by evidence showing the value of First Aid. A mid-90s report found that 39% of deaths could be prevented if First Aid is given at the scene. In Denmark, where schoolchildren are trained in basic life support, cardiac arrest survival rates stand at an impressive 40%. In the UK, only 7%-10% of people survive a cardiac arrest.
Firefighter Russell Ward led the training: ‘Many people don’t realise that Firefighters have trauma qualifications. We are passionate about teaching First Aid and school is the perfect place to start. It’s a life skill we should all have.’
Daniel Atherton, Year 6 teacher at St Catherine of Siena, said: ‘Following on from the CPR and choking pilot scheme at St Catherine of Siena school, the skills have already been put into practice when a member of staff at the school was choking. Luckily members of staff who had been part of the choking session used the techniques they had learnt and resolved what could have been a serious situation.’
Schools which are interested in holding the training can contact Garston Fire Station on 01923 672825.