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Alex backs first aid in schools

Alex Cunningham has pledged his support for first aid in schools and is backing the Every Child a Life Saver campaign spearheaded by St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation and the British Red Cross.

Too many people die needlessly when simple first aid could have saved them.  Lives could be saved if every child were to be given the opportunity to learn these skills, and the Stockton North MP is supporting the campaigns calls for first aid to become compulsory in all state-funded secondary schools.

On 20 November 2015, the Emergency First Aid Education Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons.  This presents an opportunity for first aid to become compulsory before the next general election.  The Bill, tabled by fellow Labour MP, Teresa Pearce, will require secondary schools to give young people the skills and confidence to deal with a range of medical emergencies and ensure that pupils know to seek help and support when needed, including from the emergency services.

Alex said:

“First aid is a skill for life that benefits both individuals and communities.  As a former first aider myself, I am proud to support the Every Child A Lifesaver campaign that aims to broaden the reach of this important knowledge by making first aid training a requirement in every state-funded secondary school.

“Barely a week goes by when a good news story stemming from a basic knowledge of first aid does not make the newspapers, and research shows that children are not afraid to use the first aid skills they learn in the unfortunate event that they are needed.  Failure to take this opportunity and ensure that young people develop these important skills, while at the same time fostering positive attitudes towards first aid, would border on negligence when taking simple actions now could save lives in the future.”

Mike Adamson, Chief Executive at British Red Cross said: “We have a one-off chance to equip a new generation of first aiders with the skills they need to make difference.  Mums, dads, teachers and the public can play a vital part in this by urging their local MPs to support this vote and help us to provide young people with a life-saving legacy.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at British Heart Foundation, said: “The survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK is shockingly low compared to other countries where CPR is widely taught.  Our MPs and Government now have the opportunity to take responsibility for addressing this needless loss of life.  By supporting this Bill they can make life saving skills a mandatory part of every young person’s education and help save more lives.”