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Frome students to take this lesson to heart!

DURING the summer school holidays, the Friends of Frome Hospital (FoFH) and Tytherington-based  health educational training team of Creative Aquatics have been making final preparations to a radical new initiative to introduce CPR and defibrillator training sessions into the classrooms at Frome’s Oakfield and Selwood Academies.

In this unique collaborative venture Creative Aquatics have generously and freely donated their specialist medical instructors to undertake weekly class-by-class demonstrations, to students in years seven and eight, over a twelve week period at each campus – starting with Oakfield in the autumn term, and Selwood in the spring term.

Derek Trick, Project Leader FoFH Community Defibrillator Programme said, “We have simply been ‘wowed’ by the support given to this initiative by Creative Aquatics. They have appreciated our desire to create awareness of our defibrillator programme at our local schools. They already have a dynamic team of young trainers at schools offering health, wellbeing and first aid lessons, as well as providing life-saving skills at their swimming pool at Tytherington. Their instructors are young, know how to communicate and have fun with students, whilst delivering a serious message. By the end of the spring term, around, 600 Frome students will have learnt a life-long educational skill on how to react and address the issue of managing a cardiac trauma situation.”

On behalf of Creative Aquatics, multi award-winning swimming coach Simone Benhayon said, “We too have been amazed at the Friends of Frome Hospital’s efforts in providing life- saving defibrillators for the whole community. Teaching people how to use this equipment is paramount, and from our perspective getting students to learn this in their formative years is the key to making this project a real triumph. We have agreed to continue with these lessons through to 2020, by which time 1,800 young people will have the knowledge to assist in a cardiac arrest scenario – wherever they may be in the world!”

The Friends of Frome Hospital have provided a CPR training manikin and a demonstration talking defibrillator for the lessons, and each student will be given an ‘I have taken this to heart’ certificate after their lesson.

From the proceeds from public donations, over the past three years the Friends of Frome Hospital have championed the installation of 22 publicly available defibrillators (PAD) across an area serviced from the Community Hospital and Frome Medical Practice. Fifteen units are strategically located in Frome and a further seven in the neighbouring villages. Frome is reputed to have been the first community in the country to establish a complete network of PAD units.

The ‘Friends’ continue to raise funds to be ring-fenced for future public awareness sessions, and for  the maintenance of the defibrillators, over the 10 year life expectancy of the units: FriendsofFromeHospital@virginmoneygiving.com