Learn to be a Lifesaver: CPR course helps thousands learn how to save a life

Helen Brady, Heartstart Discovery co-ordinator, during a session.

Before Heartstart Discovery was rolled out, Dundee was among the worst places in Scotland when it came to bystanders having the courage to help save a life.

But more than 20 years later, all kinds of people are learning the skills needed in an emergency, thanks to the course.

Heartstart Discovery, which is supported by NHS Tayside, offers classes throughout the year which teach people what to do in a crisis before the arrival of paramedics.

Co-ordinator Helen Brady said: “Dundee had one of the worst rates in Scotland for ‘bystander intervention’ in a crisis situation, either through not knowing what to do or fear that they would make things worse.”

The organisation has provided first aid courses to approximately 52,000 adults over the past 20 years.

It works closely with businesses, including bars and clubs, to provide onsite education and vital safety training.

And the organisation does not only offer the course to adults.

Heartstart Discovery operates an “age is no barrier” policy which sees children as young as 10 being provided with the training.

The group has even instigated a schools initiative which has seen around 50,000 children being taught the techniques throughout the years.

Helen said one of the most common reasons people show an interest in the training is to ensure the safety of loved ones who may have heart conditions.

Others simply want to better their knowledge.

Some also see the course as a great addition to their CV in the hope it will boost their chances of employment.

Helen said although no further assessments on bystander intervention rates have been carried out, the sheer volume of people who have attended the course is bound to have had an impact.

The Evening Telegraph’s Learn to be a Lifesaver campaign has been inspired by the heroics of Dundee postie Nicola Johnson, who helped save an unconscious woman by performing CPR on her.

The Tele wants to encourage as many people as possible to undergo basic first aid training by signing up to one of the many courses on offer throughout the region.

A wide variety of courses, aimed at giving people the tools they need to deal with a raft of different emergencies, are on offer.

From simple techniques, which could buy people extra time until emergency services arrive, to dealing with a child that has taken seriously ill, they can all be taught to members of the public within just a few hours. To find out more about Heartstart Discovery, contact Helen on 01382 740400.

First aid courses can be booked through a variety of organisations:

Heartstart Discovery: 01382 740400

British Red Cross: 0845 564 8835

Community First Responders Carnoustie: 07515 109 382

Leisure & Culture Dundee: 01382 432320

Save a Life Scotland: www.savealife.scot