13 June 2012
A thousand volunteers from Mayor of
London Boris Johnson’s Team London Ambassadors are being trained
how to save a life as London prepares for an influx of visitors
during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The first groups have now completed their
training which includes how to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and
how to use a defibrillator.
The volunteer Team London Ambassadors are
being taught the lifesaving techniques under a scheme developed by
NHS London and the London Ambulance Service, supported by the
British Heart Foundation (BHF).
The aim is to be able to give immediate and
vital emergency care while an ambulance is on the way.
The Ambassadors are learning ‘Heartstart’ – a
two-hour lifesaving skills course devised by the BHF, which is also
providing the training equipment.
And as part of the health legacy of the
Olympics, London Ambulance Service paramedics will also teach
around 50 Ambassadors how to deliver the two-hour Heartstart
As well as teaching their peers ahead of the
opening ceremony, these 50 volunteers will continue to teach the
Heartstart course in their local communities after the Games as
part of London’s health legacy.
Volunteers will also be taught how to use a
defibrillator, a machine that can restart the heart by delivering
an electric shock.
There are around 750 public-access
defibrillators placed in busy areas in the capital, such as
tourist attractions, shopping centres and transport links, with
staff who work there trained to use them in an emergency.
London Ambulance Service First
Responders Manager Chris Hartley-Sharpe said: “When
someone suffers a cardiac arrest they need three things to have the
best chance of survival: someone to call 999 for an ambulance
straight away, someone to begin CPR straight away and someone to
get a defibrillator to them as quickly as possible.
“By training 1,000 Ambassadors with these
simple lifesaving skills, as well as training 50 to train more
people after the Games, we are giving visitors to the capital this
summer and Londoners the best chance of survival if they suffer a
Mayor of London Boris Johnson
said: “Team London Ambassadors will provide a highly-visible
network of support throughout the Games, guiding people around the
capital, giving advice and helping out in any way they can. That so
many of them now have this potentially life-saving knowledge is
fantastic, adding another string to their bow and providing a great
health legacy for the capital.”
NHS London Regional Director of
Public Health Dr Simon Tanner said: “These Heartstart
courses for Team London Ambassadors are just the first of many.
“While the benefits will be available
during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the training given on
these courses will also provide a lasting legacy.
“NHS London is proud to have brought
together colleagues from London Ambulance Service and the British
Heart Foundation to ensure the London Ambassadors can help keep
people safer during the Games.
“Heartstart courses will, of course, be
continuing after the Games and I would encourage everyone to
consider signing up for one.”
British Heart Foundation Director of
Prevention and Care Catherine Kelly said: “Knowing how to
save a life is the best skill you can have. Of course, we hope our
Heartstart programme is something the ambassadors never actually
need to put into practice but it’s hugely reassuring for the public
to know there will be trained volunteers on the street who know
what to do in an emergency.
“The fact 50 of them will train other people
in their local communities after the Games is a fantastic legacy
for London’s health.”
- Ends -
Notes to editors: