Health and care students at South Tyneside College are proving they are no dummies when it come saving lives.
They have been learning CPR for the first time on mannequins after the specialist technique was added to their course.
It came in response to research which pointed to too few people in the North East knowing CPR.
To help them, experts Joe Welsh and Malcolm Dunn, from the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards (NSVL), put them through their paces with a hands-on demonstration.
Lecturers say the training will improve the students’ work in care homes, respite centres, hospices, hospitals and the community.
They responded to a British Heart Foundation (BHF) report, which showed less than 40% of people have confidence in performing CPR in a medical emergency.
Lecturer Claire Robinson said: “We felt it was important that our students were properly trained in this.
“They have to go out on placement to various care settings, where they come into contact with people who have a variety of health needs.
“Having the vital skills to perform CPR if needed could make the different in saving someone’s life.”
The BHF found 58% of people in the region lacked the confidence to perform CPR if confronted by someone in need.
Meanwhile,49% admitted they would feel helpless, with only 23% able to correctly identify the signs of cardiac arrest.
Joe, a BHF-accredited heart start trainer, said it takes just two hours to learn the skills to save a life.
He added: “It is my belief that all schoolchildren should be taught CPR, it is incredibly important.
“I’m very pleased that South Tyneside College has introduced this training to its course framework. This training can and does save lives.”
More information on the college’s health and care courses is available by contacting Student Services on 0191 427 3900 or visiting www.stc.ac.uk