Water safety is no joke on April Pools Day

In response to an alarming increase in the number of drownings in Australia, a coalition of like-minded organisations has pooled their resources to launch April Pools Day, a campaign squarely targeted at increasing CPR-preparedness in the community.

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 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.”

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Protect Your Little Pool People and Join April Pools Day Poolwerx has partnered with Australian Red Cross for April Pools Day to equip more Australians with lifesaving CPR skills. This year, April Pools Day offers 4,000 Australians free online CPR for Babies and Children training, a new course from Red Cross. From 1 April to 15 April 2022, Australians can sign up at and will receive access to the free online course from the Australian Red Cross valued at $100. Following completion of the online unit, individuals can also save 20% if they want to complete either a Red Cross certified First Aid or CPR course; or more comprehensive First Aid for Babies and Children course (all available as either blended/live or virtual). Drowning is known as ‘the silent killer’, which is why Poolwerx has crafted a Spotify playlist with songs from every decade, to allow Australians to pick their favourite 110 beats per minute song – the recommended rate to perform chest compressions. Did you know? Since launching April Pools Day in 2016, Poolwerx has provided CPR training to more than 15,000 Australians, with participation growing every year. Why should you register? Life is full of surprises so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. This year, Olympic gold medallist and water safety advocate Libby Trickett is teaming up with Poolwerx and the Australian Red Cross to encourage more Aussies to sign up to learn CPR. “When my daughter had her own near-drowning experience, I remember the sense of helplessness that washed over me, so knowing now that I’m armed with CPR training, I feel like I can take control and make a difference in a bad situation,” Mrs Trickett said. “You don’t need CPR until you do, and to think we could potentially save nearly 300 lives if more Aussies had CPR training, it’s a no-brainer to sign up to the free online course.” Australian Red Cross first aid trainer Deb Lowe reiterated Libby Trickett's stance that water safety is everyone’s responsibility and CPR is a part of that. “Knowing that in the time of need you can safely and accurately deploy CPR and potentially save a life is a great feeling and we need more every day Aussies equipped with these life-saving skills,” Ms Lowe said.
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