Steve Brine attended a Parliamentary event on Tuesday 18 October, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on first aid to show his support for the 'Every Child a Lifesaver' campaign.
Currently in the UK, less than one (8.6%) in ten people survive a cardiac arrest, and Restart a Heart Day is an annual initiative organised by the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) with the aim of increasing survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
As the largest ever CPR training event of its kind, more than 100,000 people will be taught CPR in schools and community groups across the UK in a bid to build a nation of lifesavers. The "Every Child a Lifesaver" campaign is calling for a change in the law to require schools to give young people the confidence and skills needed to deal with a range of medical emergencies including cardiac arrests and heart attacks.
St John Ambulance provided CPR training to MPs and their staff, on behalf of the lead Restart a Heart Day partners: British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Resuscitation Council (UK), St John Ambulance and Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) predicts that if the UK achieved the same survival rates of countries like Norway (25%), where CPR is taught in schools, an additional 100 lives could be saved each week – the equivalent of approximately 5,000 every year.
All the partner organisations want to create a Nation of Lifesavers and are calling for people to be educated and trained in life saving CPR to help improve the low cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK.
Steve Brine said: "The stats on cardiac arrest survival are bleak to put it mildly and it was great to learn, at the event itself, that Westgate, Kings and Sparsholt College have signed up to the scheme. It was a pleasure to meet with the brilliant St John Ambulance here in Parliament."
Sue Killen, CEO at St John Ambulance, said: "There is overwhelming evidence that more lives could be saved if more people knew CPR. It is vital that we teach our young people simple first aid techniques so that no one is helpless in an emergency. Restart a Heart Day is a fantastic initiative that will help thousands of children across the country learn the skill to save a life."
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Shockingly, thousands of lives are being lost every year because people lack the confidence and skills to step in and save a life when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest.
"Survival rates in the UK have remained stubbornly low for far too long and it's time we improved them.
"We need as many people as possible to learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and try to save a life when they see someone suffer a cardiac arrest.
"That's why we are urging secondary schools across the UK to apply for our free training kits and help create a Nation of Lifesavers."
Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: "Thanks to our partnership with the BHF and other agencies, we have provided CPR training to 31,000 children at 137 schools on Restart a Heart Day over the last two years and another 20,000 youngsters are due to learn in Yorkshire alone today.
"We are incredibly proud of the fact that that our concept for Restart a Heart Day is this year being rolled out across ambulance trusts nationally – even as far as Australia – ensuring that thousands more youngsters learn this vital skill."