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An EMT demonstrates the correct way to perform CPR on a mannequin. Photo: SUPPLIED/ST JOHN

Call-out for more to learn CPR

Hato Hone St John’s Shocktober campaign is on this month, and the Paeroa branch is hoping to get as many people as possible trained in life-saving CPR.

Shocktober aims to equip more than 10,000 people across Aotearoa with the skills to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) through its 3 Steps for Life programme.

The primary activity of the campaign, dubbed the Heartbeat Highway, is a nationwide road trip to host 3 Steps for Life training in more than 20 towns and communities across the motu, starting in Stewart Island and finishing in Kaitaia on October 30.

The campaign will have a particular focus on equipping people in rural and isolated communities with lifesaving skills such as calling 111, how to administer CPR, and how to use an AED.

Donna Thomas, an ambulance officer for Hato Hone St John in Paeroa and a 3 Steps for Life facilitator, said the team is aiming to train as many people as possible in Paeroa on how to do CPR using the 3 Steps for Life course. 

“I have held four courses so far and knowing CPR is a valuable skill when someone like a loved one suffers a cardiac arrest. Learning CPR gives people the confidence to help save a life.

“The course is free and only takes an hour and we can come to your home or business to run the course,” she said.

Jacci Tatnell, Hato Hone St John head of community education, said Shocktober aimed to tackle one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand: cardiac arrest.

“Every day, six people experience cardiac arrest outside hospital care but, sadly, only about one in 10 will survive,” she said. 

While the statistics are alarming, Ms Tatnell said survival rates can more than double with help from bystanders.

“For every minute without CPR or defibrillation, a patient’s chance of survival falls by 10 to 15 per cent. Simply put, if more people have the confidence and skills to perform CPR and use an AED, more lives will be saved.”

To help build a “stronger, healthier and more-resilient Aotearoa,” Ms Tatnell encouraged as many New Zealanders as possible to sign up for a free 3 Steps for Life session near them.

DETAILS: People can learn more about the course by emailing