Portland Swimmers Learn to Save Lives


CPR manikin
Over 40 Club members recently attended a first aid training session run by Marijke, the mum of one of our swimmers.

Marijke, who is a nurse of many years’ experience in Accident & Emergency, wanted to teach Portland swimmers and parents to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and raise awareness of the British Heart Foundation’s `Heartstart’ programme and the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust’s campaign to encourage young people to learn how to deal with life threatening situations.

Joe Humphries was a fit, sporty 14 year old, who, on a run in October 2012, had a cardiac arrest and collapsed. He didn’t receive CPR until the ambulance arrived and did not survive.

Defib sign


During the training session Marijke demonstrated how to do CPR, then everyone got the chance to practise on a manikin.

She also showed how to use a defibrillator, which can be found at Portland Centre and many other public buildings where you see a green sign displaying a white heart with a lightning bolt going through it (see left).



Marijke explained that even someone with no training at all can increase a person’s chance of survival following a heart attack by doing 2 simple things:

  • Call 999 (UK only) or 112 (throughout the European Union)
  • Push hard and fast in the centre of their chest about 100-120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives.

Marijke recommended the Heartstart training course, which is free, suitable for all ages and covers a range of Emergency Life Support Skills including dealing with an unconscious casualty, cardiac arrest, suspected heart attack, choking and serious bleeding.

You can find out more about Heartstart courses at http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/how-we-help/training/heartstart-training.aspx

You can even play the interactive `Lifesaver’ on your computer by visiting https://life-saver.org.uk (I’ve had a go and found it really useful!)

Or there’s an app that can be downloaded onto smartphones to practise hands-only CPR: http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/life-saving-skills/hands-only-cpr/app-enquiry-form.aspx

For more information about the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust go to its website: www.jhmt.org.uk 

`Thank you’ Marijke for making many of those who took part in the training feel confident enough to try and help save someone’s life should the situation ever arise.


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