Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
146 Bolton Road
Tel: 0161 736 5866
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HEARTS might be on the minds of a lot of people this Valentine's Day - and the people of Stockport should feel the love more than most knowing that their local fire team are now trained instructors of Heartstart!
A group of firefighters and community safety staff from Stockport Fire Station are now able and willing look after the hearts of the borough and pass on vital life-saving skills.
Red Watch - rather aptly - as well as Blue Watch and come of the Community Safety Advisors were trained by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to become qualified instructors and teach the community how to perform CPR in an emergency.
Community Safety Advisor Wendy Hall said: "We're trying to do more and more to help our communities and one way we can achieve this is by helping people help themselves.
"Swift action is vital when someone's heart stops and it's unlikely that a trained professional will be there in those early moments so it's a friend, neighbour or loved one who could make the difference.
"Thanks to NWAS working with the British Heart Foundation both watches, me and Apprentice Community Safety Advisor Greg Brunt are able to pass on this valuable skill."
Councillor David Acton, Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said: "GMFRS is much more than a service that responds to emergencies.
"If the worst does happen, we want people to have the best chances of surviving and recovering and this is another way of achieving that and improving people's lives."
Red Watch at the King Street station have got the ball rolling already and have run some free courses to the public.
They are run in an evening in the community room at the station and last for about two hours and some of the first people to have the training were from the North West Blood Bikes (NWBB).
Wendy added: "Their first one was last week and was well attended.
"The feedback at the end of the session was really positive with everyone saying how much they enjoyed it and that the information and new skills they had learned were really worthwhile.
"The volunteers from NWBB have since contacted me to say that they felt it was so valuable that they will be suggesting all of their volunteers attend."
For more information about the involvement of NWAS in Heartstart, please go to http://www.nwas-responders.info/heartstart.php
For more information about the North West Blood Bikes, please go to http://nwbloodbikes.org/
Please contact your local station to find out about free Heartstart sessions in your area - /