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West Cheshire College is now CardiacSmart

March 28, 2013

West Cheshire College have become the first organisation in Cheshire to be awarded a GOLD CardiacSmart award after 800 members of staff and students completed training with North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) - giving them all the potential to save a life!

West Cheshire College is the first organisation in Cheshire to be awarded a GOLD CardiacSmart award.

West Cheshire College had to fulfil a series of criteria to gain their GOLD CardiacSmart award and by the end of July, 1,000 staff and students will complete the training. The aim of the CardiacSmart award is to recognise local organisations for their dedication to raising awareness of heart health, basic life support and defibrillators. 

The CardiacSmart initiative, born from the Chain of Survival Partnership, works to extend the blanket coverage of public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and provide more individuals with training in basic life support; in order to improve a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

Around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital each year, and with every minute a person does not receive treatment their chance of survival decreases by 10%. Cardiac arrest is the most extreme case of an emergency, as the patient loses consciousness at once and there are no signs of life.  Defibrillators give an electric shock through the chest wall and help to restore a normal heartbeat.

No one knows who will suffer from cardiac arrest, but what is known is that the speed of response, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation within the first few minutes will improve the patient’s chance of survival and recovery.

Helen Owen, Manager of Area Manager – care, foundation and student services at West Cheshire College, said: “Thanks to the training we have received from NWAS we really are increasing the chances of survival for anybody using our facilities who suffers a cardiac arrest.

“This training is essential and can save lives, which is why we are training 2,000 staff and students throughout the year and we have two defibrillators in place in both our Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses through fundraising.

“The fact that we are the only organisation in Cheshire to win a gold award just shows the hard work and dedication that our staff and students have shown. We are very proud of this achievement and will continue to work hard to reduce the risks in our local community.”

Making West Cheshire College a safer place to work by installing a defibrillator and providing staff with Emergency life support training is a positive and simple action to take.  The training which includes CPR and operating a defibrillator was provided for free by the North West Ambulance Service together with information and support on how to become CardiacSmart.  It’s really easy to make a difference and may be save a life.”

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