SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has supported a new Bill at Westminster which would change the law and make it compulsory for all pupils at secondary school to be taught life-saving CPR skills and defibrillator awareness.
Mr Durkan is also urging local schools to avail of the British Heart Foundation’s free ‘Call Push Rescue Training Kit’ which helps teachers and students learn CPR in 30 minutes.
He said: “I am delighted to support this new Bill which aims to make CPR and defibrillator awareness a compulsory part of the secondary school curriculum.
“I have consistently lobbied at Westminster for improving cardiac arrest survival rates. In the last parliament I supported amendments to the Education Bill which would have had the same effect as this Private Members Bill.
“Currently only one in ten people in the UK survive a cardiac arrest. However, in countries like Norway, where CPR is taught in schools, survival rates are up to three times as high.”
He said the Bill will help build skills that will save lives.
“I am therefore supporting this Bill which would help young people have the confidence to take action when faced with an emergency – and leave school equipped with the skills to save a life.
“I am also urging local schools to avail of the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Call Push Rescue Training Kit’ to use with their pupils. They can find out more about the kit or order it free of charge by visiting bhf.org.uk/cpr.”
The new Private Members Bill introduced by Teresa Pearce MP calling for compulsory CPR training and defibrillator awareness in all state funded secondary schools is to be debated in Parliament on November 20.