A total of 1,479 staff, students and members of the community learnt the life-saving skill in the space of 12 hours, in a bid to increase the cardiac arrest survival rate of 1 in 18 in the East Midlands.
The Valentine’s Day event, titled Heart 2 Heart, hosted multiple ‘pods’ across the Loughborough campus in which people learnt CPR or refreshed their existing skills and knowledge.
The event was supported by more than 450 volunteers, which comprised members of the East Midlands Ambulance Service, certified first-aiders and University staff and students.
Andy Stephens, the University’s Director of Finance, volunteers as a Community First Responder with East Midlands Ambulance Service and led numerous training sessions as part of Heart 2 Heart.
He commented: “All day I met staff and students eager to learn new skills, refresh knowledge and build confidence.
“I’m proud of them and so grateful to East Midlands Ambulance Service, the British Heart Foundation, my fellow Community First Responders and the volunteers from across the University, who made the day such a success.
“Hopefully one day, perhaps tomorrow or years in the future, what we achieved at Heart 2 Heart will save lives.”
Designated sessions that focused on performing the life-saving technique on infants also took place during the day and ‘campus couples’ had the chance to train together in the morning.
Student Alannah Joy and her partner Stuart Ashton decided to spend their Valentine’s Day learning CPR.
When asked why, Alannah said: “I’ve never been medically trained before and I felt it was important to learn CPR as it’s such a basic skill and one day it could save someone’s life.
“Also Loughborough has a community feel; we treat each other as family. So having those skills and being able to look after each other is important to us as a University.”
Carrie Seaton, the British Heart Foundation Fundraising Manager for Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, said: “We really need to tackle the cardiac arrest survival rate in the East Midlands and events like Heart 2 Heart really help as it gives more people the opportunity to learn this life-saving skill.
“We hope that by training so many staff and students, there will be more people out in the community that are able to step in and save someone’s life.”
For more information on CPR or to learn the skill, visit the British Heart Foundation’s ‘How to Save a Life’ page.