Teenagers learn how to be life savers

TEENAGERS have been learning how to save lives as part of a new half-term initiative.

Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 2:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 3:50 pm
Active Leader students learn how to carryout CPR (back l-r) Caitlyn Bryan (15) and Shazia Dongola (15) with (front l-r) student paramedic Emma House, Zachery France (13), Elise Taylor (13) and Darren McFarlane, student paramedic. Picture: Sarah Standing (190219-9675)

Youngsters taking part in the Active Leaders Award were joined by student paramedics from the University of Portsmouth to learn how to treat a casualty and administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Shazia Dongolar, aged 15, said: ‘It is really important to learn how to do CPR.

‘I want to work with children and so it is vital to know what to do in an emergency.’

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Active Leader students learn how to carryout CPR (back l-r) Caitlyn Bryan (15) and Shazia Dongola (15) with (front l-r) student paramedic Emma House, Zachery France (13), Elise Taylor (13) and Darren McFarlane, student paramedic. Picture: Sarah Standing (190219-9675)

Fellow participant, Zachary France, aged 13, added: ‘I have done CPR practice once before but over time you forget and so it is great to be able to do this course to be confident of what to do if you were to come across a casualty.’

Student paramedic, Darren Mcfarlane, believes teaching first aid from a young age is vital to saving lives.

‘It is vital to teach people about CPR when they are still in school. In Norway it is actually part of the national curriculum and survival rates for people who have received CPR is double what it is here,’ he explained.

The university were keen to be involved in the programme and utilise the expertise of their student paramedics.

Kam Raval, Active Leader tutor. Picture: Sarah Standing (190219-9692)

Senior lecturer on the university’s paramedic science course, Kenneth Street, said: ‘Active Leaders is all about inspiring young individuals and enabling them to consider future opportunities by developing their practical skills.

‘Part of this skill development includes completing basic first aid and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to support this teaching with two of our undergraduates.’

In addition to mastering the requirements of CPR, the youngsters also learnt about approaching and assessing a casualty and putting them into the recovery position. 

Hosted at the John Pounds Centre in Queen Street, Portsea, the first aid course is just one components of the Active Leaders Award being run across half term.

The course aims to provide transferable life skills including teamwork, group leading, event planning and risk management as well as safeguarding and how to plan and run activities. The week culminates with the youngsters delivering a series of activities to local primary school children.

Active Leader tutor, Kam Raval, said: ‘We want to train Active Leaders to get out in the community to work with younger children to help promote being active and address issues such as obesity and healthy living.

‘The participants will receive an equivalent Level 2 qualification and will develop skills to promote their own employment prospects.’

Kam was also keen to stress that the award has significant value when applying to colleges and universities.

Admiral Lord Nelson pupil, Caitlyn Bryn, 15, said: ‘I have also done my Sports Leaders course and one day I would like to get involved in coaching children.’

Elise Taylor, 13, added: ‘I have really enjoyed the course. It is good to meet new people and it helps to develop your confidence and communication skills.’

The Active Leaders Award has been run in partnership with Portsmouth School Sport Partnership and Portsmouth City Council. 

Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for Education at Portsmouth City Council said: ‘The holiday camp is a great way for children to spend half term, and I'm thrilled that it offers such aspirational opportunities for the older children in terms of potential future employment.’