Life-saving Skills in Schools

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 1:55 pm on 22nd November 2012.

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Conservative, North Swindon 1:55 pm, 22nd November 2012

My hon. Friend has been a good supporter of our ongoing campaign, and his question leads me on to my next point.

This idea has huge public support. According to a British Heart Foundation survey, 86% of teachers think that ELS should be part of the national curriculum—we have the opportunity to get teachers’ support—and 78% of children want to be taught how to save someone’s life in an emergency, which touches on my hon. Friend’s point. Furthermore, 70% of parents thought that children should be taught ELS at school.

Following Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest and with the help of a campaign by The Sun, which we all supported, more than 100,000 people signed the e-petition—it is one of the few that quickly racked up the 100,000 signatures. I was delighted to read today that, although Fabrice Muamba thought his football career was over, he has said he will review that decision in two years, if his heart rate settles. That would be a fantastic achievement. He was technically dead for more than 70 minutes, but, because of ELS, he survived, and he has gone on to get married. That is a testament to the difference it can make.

In conclusion, ELS would make a real difference to survival rates. Training takes less than two hours, and the skills remain for life. Through education empowerment, a new generation of life-savers will be created, saving thousands of lives a year. I hope that we can make this a compulsory element of children’s education and create an army of life-savers with the confidence and skills to save a life.