St John Ambulance encourages londoners to help save lives

13 November 2006

St John Ambulance is calling on schools through a partner initiative - called Saving Londoners Lives - which encourages London school children to learn emergency life skills.

St John Ambulance's role is to be the training supervisor for schools, providing expert training and updating teachers on the instructional techniques of emergency life support (ELS).

Janet Russell
Co-ordinator for Saving Londoners Lives scheme

Over 12,000 Londoners die each year from a heart attack before reaching a hospital. The project is a joint initiative from the Mayor, the Greater London Authority, British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance, London Ambulance Service, London medical schools (Imperial, UCL, Barts and the London, Guy’s, Kings’ and St Thomas’s and St George’s) and the NHS.

The campaign aims to increase the number of people in London who are ready, willing and able to give life saving help. The aim is to reduce the number of Londoners’ who die each year from a heart attack.

St John Ambulance trainers visit interested schools to train staff in emergency life support skills; the teachers then pass on this knowledge to their pupils. St John volunteers involved in the LINKS programme will also visit schools, helping teachers to instruct pupils.

Janet Russell, Co-ordinator of the scheme, said: ‘St John Ambulance's role is to be the training supervisor for schools, providing expert training and updating teachers on the instructional techniques of emergency life support (ELS).

‘Schools will be able to establish their own programme, which is carefully tailored to the individual requirements of each school’s needs by our team. Teachers will then receive training from St John Ambulance, which will equip them both to perform ELS and to deliver the programme to their students, with the support of specially trained medical students from local London medical schools and LINKS volunteers.’

Rachel Ward is the Deputy SENCO at Preston Manor School in Wembley: ‘We introduced the programme as part of a wider course for students not taking a full complement of GCSE subjects. Many have significant learning difficulties and consequently little experience of success at school or faith in their own ability to learn. It was a resounding success. They not only learnt a valuable life skill but also became an envy of their peers.’

Schools and teachers interested in getting involved with the Saving Londoners Lives scheme which is totally free of charge to schools should contact Janet on 07787 148 947 or email janet.russell@london.sja.org.uk  

For further information visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/health/saving_lon_lives/index.jsp