Firefighters help spearhead CPR skill share initiative

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by Jamie Milligan

Firefighters have helped to launch a new initiative which will see them share potentially life-saving skills.

As part of the scheme, community crews will visit JobCentre outlets across East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde to demonstrate CPR techniques.

Watch Manager John Paul is a Local Area Liaison Officer, based within his area’s community action team, and has helped spearhead the link-up.

The experienced firefighter believes sharing knowledge and skills can save lives.

He said: “Learning CPR is vital. Obtaining these valuable skills mean you can be in a position to save a life. 

"It might not happen today, or tomorrow, but there may be a moment where you are the only person in the room who can intervene. You can make a difference.

“We are here to help and are always happy to show how CPR is carried out.”

Members of the public can be shown CPR for free at any of Scotland's 356 fire station thanks to a pioneering partnership between SFRS and the British Heart Foundation, which was launched in 2015.

Watch Manager Paul has first-hand experience of how sharing CPR skills can lead to a positive outcome.

He revealed: "We displayed CPR techniques at an educational event for primary six children a few years ago, in the Renfrewshire area.

"A teacher who attended the gathering later got in touch to inform us that the day after the event, a pupil used CPR on one of her parents.

"The parent had collapsed, but made a full recovery.

"When you get feedback like that it makes you proud to be a member of the fire service.

"It also shows you that a little knowledge and awareness can make a big difference.”

In addition to the new initiative, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde HQ has recently had a defibrillator installed.

Plans are also in place to install a defib at Barrhead Fire Station.

Carol Dutch, the DWP’s local senior team leader, said: “I am absolutely delighted that firefighters in East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde are sharing essential CPR skills with our colleagues in Jobcentres in the surrounding areas. 

“A fantastic opportunity to equip colleagues with essential CPR skills to save lives when needed is something I would highly recommend and encourage others to learn.”

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