WEST Midlands Ambulance Service has welcomed the news that schoolchildren will be taught CPR from 2020.
The government’s decision came after an eight year campaign by big hearted Redditch couple Rob and Maggie Underwood of Charlotte and Craig’s Saving Hearts Foundation.
The ambulance service, which is the only one rated ‘Outstanding’ in the country, said thousands of lives could potentially be saved in years to come if the youngsters, and adults of tomorrow, learnt the basic first aid skills.
Each year, West Midlands Ambulance Service attends about 4,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests and only seven per cent survive.
The trust said it was a shocking figure, especially when in some countries like Denmark, the figure was around 25 per cent.
Under the proposals, by the time they leave secondary school, pupils will have been taught how to administer CPR, the purpose of defibrillators, and basic treatments for common injuries.
Rob said: “When I heard the news about CPR being taught in schools I couldn’t believe it.
“First there was a consultation, then it was debated – we didn’t think it would happen this quickly.
“We want to create a nation of lifesavers.”
Cliff Medlicott from West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “There is no doubt coming across a cardiac arrest is scary.
“It’s different to a heart attack.
“In a cardiac arrest, the patient will be unconscious and their heart won’t be beating – they are clinically dead – unless someone is prepared to do something.
“Giving CPR buys the patient time, so the ambulance service can get there.
“You can’t hurt the person – doing something can only help.”