University of Portsmouth celebrates key milestone for scheme teaching life-saving skills

MORE than 1,000 people across Portsmouth have learnt life-saving skills thanks to a free scheme from the University of Portsmouth and local ambulances services.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 11:31 am
More than 1,000 residents across Portsmouth have learnt life-saving skills thanks to a free scheme from the city's university.
More than 1,000 residents across Portsmouth have learnt life-saving skills thanks to a free scheme from the city's university.

The scheme is celebrating reaching the key milestone a year after it began, with the university, in partnership with the South Central Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance Service, teaching residents young and old life-saving techniques, such as CPR and defibrillator use.

The scheme had begun as n exercise with students and staff at the university – but it has now branched out to the whole community with sessions being run at schools and community centres with the support of the University’s Outreach Team.

In October, the city also became the first in the south of England to host a Restart a Heart Day with an event on Commercial Road, where passers-by could practice CPR on manikins.

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Organiser Rob Isherwood, course lead for paramedic science at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘This project started as an experiment, so to have already helped more than a thousand people in 9 months is an incredible feat.

‘The response from the public has also been amazing. At Priory School in Southsea, we taught 506 students in just two days.’

Those who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital have a roughly one in 10 chance of survival, according to Rob, but if more people knew how to start CPR and use a defibrillator, the odds would shift in their favour.

He added: ‘Portsmouth has a higher than average number of defibrillators dotted across the city; 20 in University buildings with full public access.’

‘They are not much use though if the public doesn’t know how to use them. That’s why our ambition is to make sure every person in Portsmouth has access to free lessons, because it could help save a life.’

The lessons have been set-up in partnership with the 350+ NHS Careers Programme, hosted by Solent NHS Trust, which enables students – aged five to 18 years old - the opportunity to discover a role within the health service.

During British Heart Week, pupils at Mayfield School in Portsmouth will be next in line to learn the life-saving skills on Wednesday June, 15.