Harborough pupils learn how to save lives

Pupils and staff from Robert Smyth Academy during one of their Heartsafe sessions last week.
Pupils and staff from Robert Smyth Academy during one of their Heartsafe sessions last week.

Hundreds of students at a Harborough school are being taught how to use a defibrillator and vital CPR skills in a rolling programme which will hopefully create a generation of young life-savers.

Pupils at Robert Smyth Academy are being trained as part of the countywide Heartsafe programme, which trains young people how to carry out cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator. Although cardiac arrests most commonly affect adults – usually caused by coronary disease – it can also occur in young people due to congenital or inherited heart conditions.

Among a training team at the school last Tuesday were cardiology professors, surgeons, consultants, nurses and Rugby World Cup-winning hero Martin Johnson. He is patron of The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, named after a county 14-year-old who died from a cardiac arrest in 2012 after jogging.

Angela Sippits, health and wellbeing officer at Robert Smyth, said: “The school has been part of the programme since it’s Leicestershire launch in February 2013. Its aim is to ensure every young person passing through secondary education in county schools is provided with training in emergency life support. Our 400 Year 10 students will now be trained.

“It is intended that a large group of these students will then train the next intake of Year 10 students – it will become a rolling programme and eventually we will have a town of young life-savers.”