Learning to Restart a Heart

A pioneering partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and British Heart Foundation (BHF) is set to give communities across Scotland the opportunity to learn life-saving skills.

All 356 of SFRS’s fire stations recently took delivery of a BHF-donated Call Push Rescue training kit and each station will now act as a base for local people to learn vital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills and potentially save someone’s life if they go into cardiac arrest.

CPR classes at Coldstream Community Fire Station as part a a region wide 'Restart a Heart Day' where the British Heart Foundation joined up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to teach CPR.

CPR classes at Coldstream Community Fire Station as part a a region wide 'Restart a Heart Day' where the British Heart Foundation joined up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to teach CPR.

The partnership was formally announced this week, coinciding with European Restart a Heart Day and the launch of the Scottish Government’s five-year Save A Life For Scotland campaign.

Fire stations across the Borders opened their doors to help people learn the basic skills that can make a life-changing difference.

Crews at Coldstream (pictured), Duns, Galashiels, Innerleithen, Jedburgh, Peebles, Selkirk and West Linton all joined in,

It takes just 30 minutes to learn CPR using the Call Push Rescue kit and it’s taught by DVD so there’s no need to organise a trainer. Community groups will be able to contact their local fire station, both full-time and retained, to arrange a time to go to a station, watch the DVD and practice with the kit.

CPR classes at Coldstream Community Fire Station as part a a region wide 'Restart a Heart Day' where the British Heart Foundation joined up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to teach CPR.

CPR classes at Coldstream Community Fire Station as part a a region wide 'Restart a Heart Day' where the British Heart Foundation joined up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to teach CPR.

According to the Scottish Government, around 3,500 people in Scotland have an attempted resuscitation each year because they have suffered a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, but only 175 people (5%) survive.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest their heart is not pumping properly and every second counts.

Performing immediate CPR, as part of the chain of survival, can keep oxygen circulating around the body until the arrival of medical professionals or a defibrillator. SFRS assistant chief officer and director of service delivery, Dave Boyle said: “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is proud to be working in partnership with the British Heart Foundation in a bid to help train as many people as possible in the use of CPR across Scotland.

“This partnership is one part of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to support the Scottish Government’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy and Save a Life for Scotland campaign. We want to contribute to saving an extra 1,000 lives in Scotland by 2020.

“We have a network of fire stations across Scotland and each of them will house a CPR kit. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local fire officer or fire station and arrange a visit and some training. The training will empower people and give them the skills they need to deliver life-saving assistance to anyone suffering from cardiac arrest.

“We are extremely grateful to the British Heart Foundation for providing the CPR kits and we hope this initiative will save hundreds of lives in the weeks, months and years to come.”

Catherine Kelly, Director of Prevention, Survival and Support at the BHF, says: “BHF Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue service are passionate about saving lives.

“We firmly believe that our unique partnership to bring life-saving CPR skills to every Scottish community will mean fewer families will experience the devastation of losing a loved one.”