Helping to boost the Restart a Heart campaign in Sri Lanka

A Yorkshire Ambulance Service manager, who leads the Restart a Heart campaign, is heading to Sri Lanka to help improve cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training across the country. 

Jason Carlyon, senior engagement lead for Yorkshire Ambulance Service based in Wakefield and project manager for the Resuscitation Council, has been asked for help by Dr Nilmini Wijesuriya of the College of Anaesthesiologists and Intensivists of Sri Lanka. 

The country took part in the World Restart a Heart campaign for the first time in 2019 and more than 3,700 people were trained in CPR. Their first campaign was launched with support from Jason by phone, Skype and email and his advice and input was recognised by making him a founder member of the project.  

The college is now keen to develop the campaign to make it bigger and better in 2020 and has asked Jason to spend a week in Sri Lanka to share his knowledge and experience with colleagues.

Jason will be visiting the capital city of Colombo at the end of January and will be teaching medics how to train others in CPR as well as providing advice on how to roll-out the campaign across the country.

Jason, who lives in Scarborough, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be invited to Colombo to help the college develop this important work. We have seen here in Yorkshire how successful the campaign can be and we are happy to support more people to learn this important life-saving skill with the aim of improving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates.”

Dr Wijesuriya said: “We look forward to Jason’s assistance with the development of this project, in order to raise public awareness in bystander CPR and also his expertise to make World Restart a Heart Day 2020 even more successful.” 

On Restart a Heart Day 2019 in Yorkshire more than 860 volunteers provided CPR training to more than 46,000 students at 163 secondary schools across the region. 

The concept of Restart a Heart Day was first developed in 2013 by the European Resuscitation Council. On 16 October 2014, Yorkshire Ambulance Service visited 49 schools and taught CPR to 11,500 youngsters – with the help of hundreds of volunteers, mostly off-duty staff and community first responders.

In 2016 Yorkshire Ambulance Service supported the roll-out of the event to all UK ambulance services and two years later it was adopted by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation to encourage mass CPR training on a global scale under a World Restart a Heart Day banner. 

The Yorkshire event is sponsored by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity and organised in partnership with the Resuscitation Council (UK), British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance and other partners.

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