Irish Heart Foundation to create nation of life savers

By June Shannon CPR News   |   19th Mar 2019

The Irish Heart Foundation launches Hands for Life, which will offer free CPR training to 100,000 members of the public.

The Irish Heart Foundation has today (Tuesday 19 March 2019) launched a new free community CPR training programme, Hands for Life.

The programme, which is supported by Abbott and ESB Networks, was launched by nurse Aoife McGivney, who recently used her CPR training to save the life of a bus driver who was suffering a cardiac emergency. Hands for Life will offer free CPR training to 100,000 people in local communities throughout Ireland.

Hands for Life training courses will take place in local community centres, clubs and libraries across Ireland over the next two years.

" I know first-hand how important it is to know CPR and that it can be the difference between life and death,"

Aoife McGivney, life saver

Speaking at the launch, Aoife McGivney said, “The day started out like any other for me, getting on the bus to work in the morning. But before long, I found myself on the footpath on O’Connell Street performing CPR on the bus driver. Thankfully, he survived and nobody was hurt. I was lucky enough to know what to do in the situation and my training kicked in instinctively. I know first-hand how important it is to know CPR and that it can be the difference between life and death. I hope that others will be inspired by my story to learn CPR through the Irish Heart Foundation’s Hands for Life free community CPR training courses, supported by Abbott and ESB Networks.”

Tim Collins, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation, said “Every day in Ireland 13 people die from a cardiac arrest. Around 70 per cent of these happen at home in front of a loved one. If there is someone nearby who knows CPR and can start performing compressions quickly, you can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival.

“At the Irish Heart Foundation, we are on a mission to save lives. We want to create a nation of lifesavers by training as many people as possible in the lifesaving skill of CPR. That’s why we’ve developed the Hands for Life programme and now thanks to the support of Abbott and ESB Networks, we will train 100,000 people in the next two years which will in turn improve people’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest in Ireland.”

“We want to create a nation of lifesavers by training as many people as possible in the lifesaving skill of CPR,"

Tim Collins, CEO , Irish Heart Foundation

Paul Hennessy, Customer Experience Director, Abbott, said,  “At Abbott, we work to keep hearts healthy with our life-changing technologies and by empowering communities to prevent non-communicable diseases, here in Ireland and around the world. We know CPR saves lives, and by providing CPR training to 100,000 people through Hands for Life, we can provide people across Ireland with the practical knowledge they need to step in and save a life in the most serious of situations.”

Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director, Customer Delivery, ESB Networks said “ESB Networks is proud to partner with and support the Irish Heart Foundation and the Hands for Life programme. We have a strong connection with every community in Ireland and this programme allows us to strengthen this connection by engaging with these communities and empowering those within them to become part of a nation of life-savers. I encourage people across Ireland to take part, and urge them to spread the message to their friends, families and wider community.”

Hands for Life training courses are free and open to all adults aged 18 and over. Training courses are scheduled to take place in local community centres, clubs and libraries across Ireland over the next two years. For more information and to sign up for a free Hands for Life training course in your area, visit www.HandsForLife.ie.

Communities, groups and clubs who have 30 or more people interested in a free Hands for Life training course can contact the Irish Heart Foundation directly on 01 668 5001 or email handsforlife@irishheart.ie to arrange a training course in their area.

The training course takes just under one hour to complete and attendees will learn:

• How to recognise a cardiac arrest
• How to perform compressions, including hands-on practice on a CPR training manikin
• How to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
• How to respond to a choking emergency
• How to recognise a stroke

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