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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbria lifesaving scheme is honoured with award

A SCHEME which has taught vital lifesaving skills to thousands in Cumbria has been given a top accolade.

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LIFESAVER Bailie Kershaw with his dad, Chris

Around 3,000 people in the county were last year trained in basic life support by firefighters, staff and volunteers under a programme run by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

Among them was 12-year-old Millom schoolboy Bailie Kershaw, who last week picked up a Pride of Britain award after he saved the life of his father when he suffered a massive heart attack.

Bailie was rewarded for the second time in just days when he picked up another prize alongside the CFRS in the 2013 Heart Safe Awards.

It was the second year running that the emergency service had won the honour, which saw it competing against health trusts, local authorities and businesses nationwide.

The Heart Safe Public Sector Organisation of the Year prize was presented to the service at an awards ceremony in Manchester to mark CFRS’s investment in lifesaving equipment and staff training.

It beat off competition from East London Foundation NHS Trust, Chesterfield Council and The British Library to claim the prize.

CFRS has delivered a training programme teaching basic life support to members of the public, businesses, voluntary and community organisations, schools, youth groups, Women’s Institutes and Young Farmers.

In addition to teaching communities basic lifesaving skills, Cumbria’s firefighters are also trained in life-support and trauma and undertake a five-day course in Immediate Emergency Care.

With around 270,000 people suffering heart attacks each year in the UK and 12 young people dying of sudden cardiac arrest each week, this training is vital.

All Cumbria’s fire engines and community fire stations are equipped with defibrillators and there are plans to locate them in secure boxes on the outside of the stations so they can be accessed by the public.

Councillor Barry Doughty, Cumbria County Council’s spokesman for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “Teaching lifesaving skills to thousands of people around the county is now a big part of the service’s work.”

Bailie won the Heart Safe Lifesaver of the Year prize for putting into practice the CPR techniques he’d been taught by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service to revive his father who’d suffered a massive coronary at home.

The youngster called an ambulance before performing lifesaving CPR on his stricken dad for just under five minutes, before paramedics from Millom Hospital arrived to take over.

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