MORE than 1,300 children now have vital life-saving skills as a school played host to a huge first aid training day.
The Restart a Heart campaign day saw 1,360 pupils at Horndean Technology College receive training in CPR, placing a casualty in the recovery position and how to use a defibrillator.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust medics said it was around 1,000 people more than its previous largest training event.
Year 9 pupil Jasmine Burnham took part. The 13-year-old said: ‘It has been a fun and interesting day.
‘This is much more important than normal subjects as it really is a matter of life and death.’
Classmate Thomas Mannie, 13, added: ‘I think it’s really important that teenagers learn CPR as you never know when you might need to use it. I’ve really enjoyed all the activities.’
For the school’s educational health care assistant, Laura May, the promoting CPR is important.
She said: ‘The training is very important to me as my mother had a cardiac arrest at the age of 59 and died.
‘My brother also had a cardiac arrest at the age of 38 and he fortunately survived thanks to the actions of those at the scene who gave CPR.
‘It’s important we educate all our children with these vital skills. Even if it saves one life then it’s worth it.’
With 30,000 cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year and a survival rate of less than 10 per cent, it’s a sentiment echoed by Southern Health’s resuscitation officer Hayley Stockford.
She said: ‘This fantastic campaign hopes to improve survival rates by training as many young people as possible to save a life.
‘There has been a brilliant response from the students today and we are also visiting other schools in the area which will see us training upwards of 2,500 young people between seven and 16.’
Mayfield School in Portsmouth welcomed paramedics and firefighters to help train over 600 students in CPR, while The Cowplain School in trained an extra 132 students.
First aid training is due to become a compulsory part of the national curriculum in 2020.
Youngster George Canovan, 13, said: ‘I would definitely now feel more confident if I had to intervene in a real situation.’