‘Next generation of lifesavers’ in Limerick are honoured for their CPR skills

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Helen Twomey, Diarmuid O’Connell and Laura Hickey from the Irish Heart Foundation, along with students of Colaiste Ide agus Iosef and Munster Rugby Players Sam Arnold, Andrew Conway, Rhys Marshall

Helen Twomey, Diarmuid O’Connell and Laura Hickey from the Irish Heart Foundation, along with students of Colaiste Ide agus Iosef and Munster Rugby Players Sam Arnold, Andrew Conway, Rhys Marshall

MUNSTER Rugby stars presented a special award to a County Limerick school for its exceptional efforts training the next generation of ‘lifesavers’ in CPR.  

Coláiste Íde agus Iosef, in Abbeyfeale, received the first ever CPR 4 Schools Special Recognition Award from the Irish Heart Foundation for undertaking training with students in skills that could potentially save lives. 

Led by teacher Diarmuid O’Connell, who suffered a cardiac arrest in his early twenties, students have learned how to perform CPR, how to use an AED and how to help someone who is choking. 

“Coláiste Íde agus Iosef have done tremendous work in creating awareness and taking the fear out of lifesaving,” Laura Hickey of the Irish Heart Foundation said.

“We are delighted to award Coláiste Íde agus Iosef the first special recognition award; it’s schools like this who will make a significant impact in creating the future generation of lifesavers.”  

With CPR doubling, if not tripling, the chance of survival, training in secondary schools is important, Ms Hickey added. 

“Schools are an ideal setting to reach all young people to help reduce the incidence of premature death and disability from heart disease and stroke which is Ireland’s number one killer.” 

With 13 lives lost every day to sudden cardiac death, in the event of a person’s collapse from cardiac arrest, every minute is vital.

Without CPR or defibrillation, the chance of survival falls by up to 10% a minute.

Coláiste Íde agus Iosef took part in the new CPR 4 Schools programme, a national programme aiming to created 360,000 CPR lifesavers in every community in Ireland by the end of 2019. 

Training for teachers is provided at education centres and online. 

The Irish Heart Foundation also provides schools with free kits worth  €600 which contain training mannequins to encourage crucial hands-on practice.

To date, 289 schools have received training. 

“CPR is a lifesaving skill that everyone can learn. This programme is available to every post primary school in Ireland, equipping young people with the skills and confidence to perform this CPR,” Ms Hickey said. 

With more than 700 students, Coláiste Íde agus Iosef was also acknowledged by the organisation for its efforts in promoting this valuable skill in the wider community of Abbeyfeale.

The Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR 4 Schools programme hopes that all children will get the chance to learn CPR which will help benefit every community demographic in Ireland.

In just one class, students learn skills that could potentially save a life. 

For more information, contact schools@irishheart.ie via email or visit  www.irishheart.ie/cpr4schools.