College trials pioneering initiative to equip students with life-saving skills
Leeds City College is piloting a pioneering new scheme that will see around 350 students trained in basic life support.
The college has been working with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) to develop a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme, the first of its kind in the region.
The programme will support five Public Services students to become proficient in administering and teaching basic life support, who will then go on to train their coursemates.
Two of the students, Sophie Cook and Robert Micallef, have received their trainer qualifications, and have already coached 200 of their peers through the process. The intention is that, over the next academic year, the scheme will spread into other areas of the college, allowing as many students as possible to receive training from their peers.
If the initial trial is successful, there are already plans to extend the Train the Trainer programme to all Health and Social Care & Education & Childhood students.
Victoria Balmforth Programme Manager Public Services, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside YAS to roll out this scheme.
“Basic life support is such an important skill, especially for those students who want to eventually work in our emergency services or military.
“The programme has also been instrumental in helping our initial trainers grow in confidence. I’m incredibly proud of the way they have been able to deliver the training with such passion and expertise.”
In 2020, CPR was added to school and college curriculum as a compulsory subject. Dave Jones, Community Engagement Manager at Yorkshire Ambulance Service believes that schemes such as this may become integral to ensuring education providers can fulfil this requirement.
Dave said: “We were delighted when basic life support was introduced into the curriculum, as it was something that we had campaigned for.
“The problem was that there was no real directive on how this would be delivered, and with ambulance services already operating with limited capacity, we needed to find an alternative solution.
“Before the pandemic, we had already been working with Leeds City College to develop a tri-service programme. Now, three years on, we thought this would be the perfect place to trial our ambitious new programme.
“We’re already seeing impressive results, and it’s my hope that we can one day take this model and implement it in education settings across the region, to complement current initiatives such as Restart a Heart Day.”