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Young students to learn life saving skills

Below: Derek Trick, project leader of Frome Community Defibrillator Programme, presenting a mini-Anne CPR training manikin at Selwood Academy, to headteacher Jean Hopegood at a recent school assembly.

Year 7/8 students at Oakfield and Selwood Academies are to receive life-saving CPR instruction and be taught how to use the town’s publicly available defibrillators (PAD) in a new scheme.

The 45-minute lessons will be given to 12 classes starting in the autumn at Oakfield Academy, then continuing with the same age stream at Selwood Academy after the Christmas break.

It’s part of a radical development of the Friends of Frome Hospital’s Community-wide Defibrillator project.

The programme has been specially devised on behalf of the Friends of Frome Hospital by the specialist medical training and responder team based at the Creative Aquatic Centre at Tytherington.

The course will allow the students to recognise a cardiac trauma situation and how to positively respond. It will include showing the students how to instantly diagnose the patient’s condition, placing them in a recovery position, calling for medical help and applying CPR until professional help arrives.

In addition, and because Frome has 22 24/7 PAD units located around the town where the 999 emergency services can identify the nearest location to a situation, the training team will demonstrate the use of the Heartsine computerised ‘talking’ defibrillator.

Derek Trick, project leader for the Friends of Frome Hospital Community Defibrillator Programme said,  “We are delighted that the town’s two academies have agreed to include these ‘life-education’ tutorials into their curriculum. Getting young people aware in their formative years is so important, as was aptly proven earlier this year by the young student at Frome Community College who was able to assist her father during a cardiac situation.

“The aim of the Friends, with the free tuition being generously provided by the team at Creative Aquatic, is to make this an annual contribution to these educational sites, without a detriment to their restricted teaching budgets. It is another excellent example where different groups in our town can work together to achieve a really positive outcome.

“In many countries, especially across Europe, CPR training is included as standard within the educational curriculum, so at least we can emulate this here in Frome.”

The Friends of Frome Hospital are hoping to host another of their public CPR awareness sessions, for the general public, later this summer.    

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