Call for CPR in schools
BUNDABERG swim coaches and lifeguards are pushing for CPR to be taught as part of the school curriculum amid a summer of record near-drownings.
Their message is loud and clear - to prove how easy cardiopulmonary resuscitation is to learn and to create awareness of how a life can be saved anywhere at any time.
Paul Simms, co-owner of Bundaberg Swim Academy and trainer and assessor for Royal Lifesaving Queensland, said chances were that people would most likely perform CPR on someone they knew.
He said 30 chest compressions and two breaths could be the difference between walking and talking, and he would like to see an educational program set up in local primary and secondary schools to teach the simple message.
"You can't put a price on someone's life," he said.
He also stressed the sooner an oxygen supply could be generated to the brain and circulatory system, the better chance there was of survival, as well as a reduced risk of brain damage a casualty could have.
"It only takes three to six minutes before the brain starts dying - doing something before an ambulance arrives is always better than nothing," Mr Simms said.
"Whether you're on a cane farm or in the workplace, cases that require CPR will always present themselves."
Royal Lifesaving community emergency care training unit manager Dylan Peters said short, affordable courses were available to teach people life-saving skills, so they could translate easily to a school environment.
"To learn how to preserve a life is such a vital ability - you could literally walk down the road and need to know CPR," he said.
With the array of providers available for CPR training, Mr Peters also strongly encourages parents to familiarise themselves with CPR and to teach their children basic CPR awareness.
Select high schools on the Gold Coast teach surf safety as part of their school curriculum, including the surf rescue certificate and bronze medallion, which include resuscitation and first-aid skills.
St John Ambulance figures estimate 62,000 Australians learn CPR nationwide each year, which equates to 8% of the population knowing how to correctly perform it.
Fast guide to CPR
Remember "Doctors ABCD":
D: assess Danger of situation
R: Check for a Response
S: Send for help
A: Check if Airways are clear
B: Check for Breathing
C: Start CPR (30 compressions, 2 breaths)
D: Defribrillate, if qualified