Munster players Sam Arnold, Andrew Conway and Rhys Marshall look on with compere Raff Rocca as student Maurice Fitzgerald does a CPR demo at the IHF event in Abbeyfeale to promote its CPR 4 Schools programme.

The Irish Heart Foundation’s first-ever ‘CPR 4 Schools’ Special Recognition Award was presented to Coláiste Íde agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale, in recognition of  the Limerick secondary school’s exceptional efforts in CPR training for students.

With over 700 students, Coláiste Íde agus Iosef was acknowledged for its efforts in creating the next generation of lifesavers within the school and also in promoting this valuable skill in the wider community of Abbeyfeale.

On presenting the award to principal Liam Murphy and teacher Diarmuid O’Connell (the school’s ‘CPR 4 Schools’ co-ordinator, who suffered a cardiac arrest in 2009), Laura Hickey, IHF’s Children and Young Manager, said the school had done tremendous work in creating awareness and taking the fear out of lifesaving.

The ‘CPR 4 Schools’ programme, supported by the Bank of Ireland, aims to create a new generation of 360,000 CPR lifesavers in every community in Ireland by the end of 2019. To date, 289 schools in every county across Ireland have been trained.

The IHF’s expert ‘CPR 4 Schools’ team delivers training via education centres to post-primary teachers, who are then provided with an online programme which can be taught effectively in the classroom.

In addition, the IHF provides schools with free kits worth €600, which contain training manikins to encourage crucial hands-on practice. With 5,000 lives lost every year in Ireland to sudden cardiac death, which equates to 13 lives lost every day, the IHF says that the more people who know CPR, the more lives can be saved.

 For more information visit https://irishheart.ie/cpr4schools or email schools@irishheart.ie.