KFRS hosts community Restart a Heart events to build a nation of life savers

09 October 2018

Public, Community

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, prompt action by anyone nearby could offer their only chance of survival – but would you know what to do to help?

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is offering free basic life-support training sessions in support of the global Restart a Heart campaign, to increase the number of people in our communities who know what to do to help save a life.

Members of the public are being offered the chance to come along to a 30-minute basic life-support and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training session. This will include myth-busting information about public access defibrillators (PADs), which are available at all KFRS fire stations for people to use in an emergency.

The sessions are taking place across the county each day of Restart a Heart week at primary schools, selected fire stations and other locations, such as shopping centres.

KFRS’ community safety (CS) team will be delivering the sessions to over 2000 year-6 pupils and staff in 45 primary schools across Kent and Medway.

To help support delivery of the schools sessions, KFRS has joined in with the latest ‘Baby Shark song’ craze, featuring its family safety mascots, Woody and Elsa Byrnes, with a light-hearted parody 'Crazy Shark CPR' video highlighting the rhythm needed to carry out chest compressions during CPR. Follow The Byrnes Family on Facebook @thebyrne

Free Restart a Heart sessions for the public are being hosted at Folkestone, Sevenoaks, Whitstable and Rainham fire stations, with crews also holding free sessions in Ashford’s County Square and at Wye Farmers’ Market. Ahead of the week, Deal and Herne Bay fire stations are also opening their doors to offer free PAD awareness and CPR sessions.

Visitors to Bluewater in Greenhithe will be able to drop into the Bluewater Safety Shop in Upper Thames Walk.

The fire station training sessions will be delivered by firefighters, with the support of KFRS emergency life support instructors, blue light partners, and KFRS volunteers.
For dates and times of the all the events being held visit www.kent.fire-uk.org/cpr or KFRS’ Facebook events pages @kentfirerescue.

KFRS Assistant Director for Community Safety, Ian Thomson, said: “The aim of each Restart a Heart event is to teach these simple, yet vital, skills to as many people as possible, to enable them to give someone in cardiac arrest the best chance of survival.

“As a delivery partner for the Restart a Heart campaign with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), we strive to reach more and more people each year, to give our communities the skills they need to help save lives.”

SECAmb Community Partnership Lead, Malcolm Legg said: “We would encourage everyone of all ages to learn CPR. It’s a vital life skill that anyone can learn. If someone provides CPR in the first moments of a cardiac arrest a person’s chance of survival is significantly increased. Restart a Heart is a fantastic initiative and we’re delighted to be involved along with our colleagues at Kent Fire and Rescue.”

About Restart a Heart

The Restart a Heart (RSAH) campaign is an annual global initiative led in the UK by the Resuscitation Council UK, and is supported by a range of partners across the UK.

KFRS is a supporting partner for the delivery of the campaign, along with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and other agencies across the country.

Other events are being run at a wide range of locations throughout the UK and people who take part will be encouraged to pass on the vital new skills they learn to as many other people as possible.