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13 February 2017

Wiltshire College students learn CPR skills as part of national campaign to save lives

Hannah Jones, who is a Student Engagement Office at the Trowbridge campus, was forced to carry our CPR on her partner five years ago after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

With no prior first aid training, Hannah relied on the emergency operators after dialling 999 to assist her.

Thankfully her partner, who was later diagnosed with an hereditary heart condition, survived but ever since Hannah, 28, has shared with others the importance of being able to do CPR.

She said: “This really is a subject very close to my heart and I want to make sure that other people know more than I did when I was faced with my partner suffering a cardiac arrest.

“I literally had no idea at the time of what to do.

“My initial thought was to get him a glass of water as he had collapsed.

“I didn’t think for one minute that he might have a heart condition.

“I had never done CPR before, but his lips were blue and I knew that it wasn’t good.

“I did CPR on him for what seemed like a very long time.

“In reality it was probably about 10 minutes and then the paramedics arrived.

“The adrenaline kicked in and I just did it although when you practice you realise how tiring it is.

“I didn’t feel that at the time at all, I just wanted to save my partners life.”

Every year the British Heart Foundation celebrates Heart Month in February, encouraging everyone to make small changes towards a healthier life style.

The charity is also determined to increase cardiac survival rates and after successful bidding for 20 CPR kits, Hannah organised sessions for students to learn how to recognise a cardiac arrest and carry out CPR on adults how to put someone in the recovery position and how to use a public access defibrillator. 

Level 2 Health and Social Care students were just some of those who took part in the training sessions.

Callum Smith said he found the training very useful.

The 17-year-old said: “I have applied to do some volunteer work at the RUH in Bath as I really want to become an emergency care assistant working with the ambulance crews.

“That is the reason that I chose to study Health and Social Care at college as I felt I would learn the skills to give me a good understanding of the care industry.

“I haven’t had any First Aid training of any kind as so I was really pleased to be able to take part in these sessions and learn this very important skill.

“I think hearing Hannah’s story about what happened to her also made it more real and made me realise that it could happen to someone at anytime and anywhere.

“I feel now that if I came across anyone who was unresponsive that I would be able to help.”

Emma Ansell, who is a Health and Social Care lecturer, said she was pleased to have the opportunity for her students to learn CPR.

She said: “I think it is fantastic that our students have learned some of the basics of CPR as many of them will go to work in places or in roles where someone could suffer a cardiac arrest and so to give them experience of how to react in that situation is very important.”

Hannah enlisted the help of Public Services students Cameron MacInnes and Will Johnston to assist her with the training alongside Fundraising Manager Jane Turner, from the British Heart Foundation.

Cameron, 17, said: “I did my First Aid training with the Army Cadets and this came in extremely useful as within two weeks of completing that I actually saved someone’s life.

“I came across a woman who was on her own and having a severe asthma attack and luckily I was able to help her until an ambulance arrived.

“I was pleased to assist in showing other students how to perform CPR, I think it is better to have learned CPR and never need it than the other way around.”

Will Johnston, also 17, is a part time outdoor instructor and lifeguard when he is not at college.

He said: “I have never had to carry out First Aid in an emergency situation, but I have been in a situation where I needed to be prepared as I was instructing youngsters with serious medical conditions.

“I think everyone should be trained and so I was really pleased to be able to assist with this CPR training at college.”

All students who complete the training throughout February will be presented with certificates provided by the British Heart Foundation.