COWDENBEATH councillor, Darren Watt and Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Alexander Stewart, have reaffirmed their support for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in local schools following a meeting at the Scottish Parliament with Daniel Jones, Policy and Public Affairs Officer from British Heart Foundation Scotland.

Last month, Fife Council joined Scotland’s other 31 local authorities by committing to train every secondary pupil in potentially life-saving CPR, following the Nation of Lifesavers campaign by British Heart Foundation Scotland, with Beath and Lochgelly High schools being very much involved.

This campaign was initiated in response to Scotland’s poor out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates, where for every 12 people in the country who experienced an out of hospital cardiac arrest, statistically only one would survive.

Mid Scotland abd Fife MSP, Mr Stewart said: “I have backed this worthwhile campaign from the very beginning and I am delighted we’re finally seeing some significant progress. The statistics make for very concerning reading so it is good that our young people will have the opportunity to learn CPR. Simply by having this invaluable life-skill could very well make all the difference one day.”

In Scotland, there are approximately 3,500 people who experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest and who have resuscitation attempted in the community each year.

Research has shown that for every minute after a cardiac arrest without CPR or defibrillation, the patient’s chance of survival decreases by around ten per cent.

Cllr Watt said: “Those who have suffered from cardiac arrest are often left for several minutes because of the public’s lack of knowledge and fear of helping, but by training secondary pupils at our two secondary schools and across Fife, we should hopefully see a significant shift in survival rates.

"The idea of training school students in CPR initially came from Denmark and now out of hospital survival rates have tripled there. This is incredibly positive move and I very much look forward to seeing training delivered in our secondary schools in the coming year.”

BHF Scotland has offered a free CPR training kit to every Local Authority school in Scotland, which allows CPR training to be completed in as little as 30 minutes.