WIGANERS are being urged to sign a petition calling for the government to ensure all children are taught live-saving CPR skills in schools.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is asking people to call into its Standishgate store, in Wigan town centre, to add their name to the petition.
More than 30,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, but less than one-in-10 survive - partly because people don’t have the skills or confidence to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Now the charity wants to improve survival rates, and wants as many people as possible to learn CPR, starting at school age.
Wigan’s public health team has already started its own Heart of Wigan campaign to cut the number of people dying from heart-related conditions by encouraging them to lead healthier lives and train people in basic life-saving skills.
Some schools have already taken part in the scheme and defibrillators are in place throughout Wigan at the Life Centre, the Galleries, the Grand Arcade, Wigan Youth Zone, colleges and schools.
Coun Damian Edwardson, (pictured above), who leads the Heart Of Wigan campaign, said: “I support this notion 100 per cent.
“There are things we can do locally but something at a national level is critical,
“I don’t understand why we have not done this before. Something as simple, yet important, like this, should be on the curriculum.
“It is crucial we target children and young people.
“As part of our Heart of Wigan scheme we are looking at youth engagement and getting schools involved in teaching CPR.
“We also work with external agencies such as the fire service and North West Ambulance Service to teach youngsters.
“I know of schemes in Finland where children are taught CPR at schools and they teach their parents.
“We are a long way off that yet, but it is an incredible way of approaching it.
“As long as we keep the pressure on the government, I am sure we can get it on the curriculum.”
Debbie Boylen, regional manager of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Lives are lost every day because people do not have the skills to act in a life-threatening situation.
“We believe that every child should leave school knowing how to perform CPR.
“That’s why we need people to go into their local shop, sign the petition and help create a nation of lifesavers.
“Children learn many lessons in school but what is more important than knowing how to save a life?”
People can sign the petition by going into their local shop - the nearest is in Standishgate, Wigan - and asking a member of staff.