NWAS up for award

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has been shortlisted in the category for
Heart Safe Public Organisation of the Year.

Proceeds from the Awards will go to Hand on Heart, a charity, which provides funding for defibrillators and CPR training to schools across the UK. 270 children die at school every year; the charity's aim is to prevent these deaths by making sure schools have the right life-saving equipment and training.

NWAS put forward its application for the award with a strong entry, detailing the actions of the Service's twenty-strong Community Resuscitation Team (CRT) over previous years. The CRT work alongside 1,600 Community First Responders in delivering the HeartStart initiative, in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and The Chain of Survival Partnership. To date, NWAS has successfully installed approximately 600 public access defibrillators in locations across the North West. In 2011/12, 6420 members of the public were trained in basic life support, and 2923 trained in how to use an AED.

The importance of these initiatives have recently gained publicity with the collapse of Bolton Wanderer's football player Fabrice Muamba, and The Oliver King Foundation petition recently taken to the House of Commons.

Andrew Redgrave, NWAS Community Engagement Manager, says: "I'm tremendously proud and excited to have been shortlisted for this award. "It's recognition of the hard work of NWAS Resus Managers, Resus Development Officers, and the 1,600 volunteer CFRs who dedicate their time and efforts to spreading the key messages and actions of the HeartStart and Chain of Survival initiatives."

Gina Harris, Project Manager for Hand on Heart, said: "We really want these awards to highlight the huge need there is for a defibrillator in every single school in the country. However, the key aim is to celebrate those who have already made big efforts towards protecting the public and the heroes who have saved lives."

The UK Heart Safe Awards evening is due to be held at Salford City Stadium on 20 September 2012. Proceeds from the Awards dinner will go towards the charity Hand on Heart. With 12 young people dying every week, and 270 children dying at school each year, the charity firmly believes that greater awareness of the risk of cardiac arrest to the young is needed.

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