LINKS is a combined first aid society ran by both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities with more than 150 active society members. On Monday, November 2, they ran a 24-hour CPR marathon outside the Students' Union for ‘Save A Life Week’.
The event aimed to increase awareness of the importance of first aid and to raise money for St John Ambulance’s (SJA) 'Donate for Defibs' campaign. All money raised throughout ‘Save A Life Week’ will go towards buying life-saving defibrillators in Newcastle.
During the CPR marathon free first aid demonstrations were delivered by members of the society outside of Students’ Union building. “Up to 140,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live,” said one of the Newcastle LINKS St John Ambulance volunteers that participated in the event, “which is why we are holding this event to reach as many people as possible in such a busy place on the Newcastle University campus and help them learn basic life-saving skills!”
He continued: “A lot of students have done basic CPR training during the CPR marathon, which is very impressive and we are delighted to see so many students take part.”
After the 24-hour CPR marathon ended, Xarius Austin, the Unit Manager of Newcastle LINKS operational St John’s Ambulance unit, and the organiser of ‘Save A Life Week’ said: “First aid is an essential life-saving skill and everyone should know about it.”
“This CPR marathon and ‘Save A Life Week’ in general aimed to equip students with essential first aid skills and raise money for defibrillators in Newcastle.
“We also urge them to sign up to our free 2-hour British Heart Foundation-accredited ‘Heartstart’ course, which covers basic life-support skills for all students and staff of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities.
“Last year we held a 12-hour CPR Marathon and it was difficult but we really tried to push ourselves to the limit this year, so we took it in shifts and completed 24 hours of constant CPR this year. The event could not have gone any better.”
He added: “I was here at 6am on Tuesday morning and I’ve been dancing for 6 hours. We were all dancing to keep warm so it’s sort of been a CPR/dance marathon. We have raised £154 online so far. We are also holding a bake sale on Thursday outside the Students’ Union to continue raising money.”