For the first year since 2019 the New Zealand Resuscitation Council was able to hold a mass training event to mark “World Restart a Heart Day”. The event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Heartbeat at Wellington Free Ambulance, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), Red Cross, and dedicated instructors from the NZ Resuscitation Council CORE Advanced program.
Together, we organised a CPR training event at Rongotai College in the Eastern suburbs of Wellington, where we had the remarkable opportunity to teach CPR to every student in years 9 and 10, totalling 305 students.
The heart of the event lay in empowering the next generation with essential CPR skills. In the midst of the high energy and enthusiasm, students were distributed across three different training locations within the school. They were taught the crucial steps of DRS ABCD, an essential sequence used to identify and respond to a cardiac arrest.
The highlight of the event was a cardiac arrest simulation that took centre stage on the school field at morning tea. A full-sized manikin "collapsed" on the school field, creating a lifelike emergency scenario. This lifelike simulation was made possible thanks to the co-response with Wellington Free Ambulance and Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
The students were put to the test, responding to the situation using the DRS ABCD process. They were tasked with identifying any dangers, checking for a response, sending for help, initiating CPR, and locating an automated external defibrillator (AED) before emergency services could arrive.
While the event was undoubtedly serious in its mission to teach life-saving skills, it was not without moments of fun. The CPR competition at the end of each training session added an element of friendly rivalry. Students competed against each other, demonstrating their proficiency in chest compressions, a vital aspect of effective CPR.
Thank you to those individuals and member organisations who helped us with World Restart a Heart 2023. The 2023 event brought together a number of our representative organisations and dedicated individuals who understand the importance of equipping the youth with the knowledge and skills to save a life.