John O’Brien, CEO and founder of Poolwerx, the architects behind April Pools Day, have conducted research and found 75 per cent of people surveyed felt they did not have the necessary basic CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) skills to save a life in an emergency.
“That’s a staggering and very sad statistic and one that urgently needs to improve because learning CPR is so easy – any dummy can do it- pun intended,” he said.
“People claim to know the basics but they are not confident enough to apply it in an actual emergency and we felt something needed to be done to change this.”
Mr O’Brien said the aim of the inaugural April Pools Day, supported by Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive Do The Five program and St John Ambulance, was to encourage Australian’s to stop kidding around and get serious about learning CPR.
“Research has shown that a child is four times more likely to survive a drowning if their parents know CPR and start immediately. April Pools Day aims to make it easy for people to update these skills by giving them a refresher course on the basic skills for resuscitating babies, young children and adults. We hope this event will contribute to saving lives.”
Tammie Richie, mother of three knows exactly how important CPR is when she resuscitated her son Carson, after she found him face down in the pool when he was 16 months old.
“It was eight years ago but reliving the moment of finding my son lifeless lying face down in the pool still reduces me to tears to this day,” she said.
“We had just moved house and I was unpacking boxes and had only taken my eyes off him for a second when I realised I couldn’t hear him anymore. I started to search the house and the last place I thought to look was the pool. I’ll never forget that moment. I screamed for help but no one came. Luckily, I knew CPR and was able to bring Carson back to life again.”
Carson survived and miraculously avoided any ill effects, including brain damage.
“When I heard about April Pools Day I wanted to be a part of it because I am so passionate about spreading the message about what a vital skill CPR is. Everyone should know how to do it. I don’t even want to contemplate what Carson’s fate might have been had I not been skilled to revive him.”
April Pools Day advocates, Laurie Lawrence and his daughter Emma Lawrence, said the day reinforced the fifth step in his swim safety message – learn how to resuscitate.
“This education campaign is another step in the right direction to curb the increase in drownings,” he said.
“Drownings deaths are 100 percent preventable if we all take ownership. Our greatest hope is that everyone who learns CPR never has to use it but it’s so important to have that knowledge if the worst should happen.
On April Pools Day on Friday 1 April, Laurie and Emma, along with Poolwerx and St John Ambulance urged all Australians to visit the April Pools Day website www.aprilpoolsday.com.au and take the CPR refresher courses available.
“Come on Australia, it’s three minutes out of your life that just might save someone else’s. Don’t act the fool when it comes to pool safety – make sure you know how to perform CPR, any dummy can do it.”