A project to teach the public life-saving skills to the public has seen Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service earn a nomination for the prestigious Heart Safe UK awards.

CFRS has been shortlisted for the Public Sector Organisation of the Year prize which is for organisations that invest in life-saving equipment and training to provide a 'Heart Safe environment' for their employees and communities.

The programme has taught basic life support at an ever-increasing number of businesses, voluntary and community organisations, schools, youth groups, women's institutes and young farmers clubs.

Councillor Gary Strong, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for community safety and local services, said: "Being nominated for a prestigious national award is well deserved recognition for the excellent work Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service has undertaken in teaching life-saving skills to thousands of people around the county.

"Providing immediate first aid can dramatically improve a casualty's chance of survival and in a large, rural area like Cumbria where it can take emergency services longer to arrive, these skills are even more important."

In 2011 firefighters, staff and volunteers taught 1,500 people in the county basic life support and around 5,000 have been trained over the past five years.

The Firefit programme, which sees all of Cumbria's firefighters trained in life-support and trauma, received the Olympic Inspire Mark for helping to support the London 2012 message of "Legacy".

All Cumbria's fire engines carry defibrillators and there are plans to ensure that the county's fire stations also host them for the benefit of the local community.

Three other organisations, including the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust [click here for full story]  , are in the running for the Heart Safe award, which will be announced in Manchester on 20 September.

To find out more about the awards visit www.ukheartsafeawards.co.uk 

Posted 15/08/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com