Ballymahon Vocational School gets to the heart of the matter

Ballymahon Vocational School

Emma Kearney, Rob Kearney, John McCormack, Sean O'Brien, Sarah McCormack and Robbie Henshaw during a CPR 4 schools demonstration for the Irish Heart Foundation.

Ballymahon Vocational School has been selected as the Ambassador School for the Irish Heart Foundation after their project got noticed in the BT Young Scientist 2017.

And, as a direct result of the school’s initiative - ‘Defib Demo - The Heart of the Matter’ at the BT Young Scientist 2017, The Irish Heart Foundation in association with Bank of Ireland launched the CPR 4 schools training programme which is designed for post-primary schools and equips teachers with the skills to deliver CPR training to teach their students.

Speaking to the Leader, Ciara Moughty, 5th Year student, Ballymahon Vocational School explained what the project entailed.

“Our project was to design and develop an educational based programme around CPR that could be easily used in schools,” she added, before pointing out that the aim was to create awareness around CPR, the use of AD machines and general life saving skills.

“We had seven aims one of which included taking the fear out of saving a life and we also raised awareness in our school about the importance of providing Eircodes to the emergency services.

“We also showed students how to do CPR and we had a whole day dedicated to that in the school.”

The group also got in contact with the Ballymahon Defibrillator Group and with their help learned the points in the locality where the defibs are located.

The students are also trained in CPR themselves.

According to the Irish Heart Foundation 70% of cardiac arrests happen in the home and the chances of recovery decrease by 10% for every minute that proper care isn’t administered.

The CPR 4 Schools team deliver training via education centres to teachers who are then provided with an online programme which can be taught effectively in the classroom.

In addition, the Irish Heart Foundation provides schools with free kits worth €600 which consist of training mannequins to encourage hands-on practice.

Meanwhile, back at Ballymahon Vocational School students across all years are becoming more and more interested in the initiative and aware of the importance of having life saving skills.

Those involved the BT Young Scientist 2017 project say that they can see a change already in their school and the outcome for the years ahead is very positive at this stage.

“It is so important to know how to do CPR; now I would feel confident if I found myself in a situation where I had to do it whereas before this project I would have been frightened,” added Ciara.

“I am so much more aware of sudden death and cardiac arrest matters now; so is everyone at our school, it is brilliant.”

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