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2017 CPR Awareness Programme launched by Minister for Education

“The Order of Malta are an excellent organisation and through raising awareness of CPR are saving many lives. Adam’s Gift: CPR awareness week is a great initiative that encourages active learning of a vital life skill.” Speaking at the launch at Ardscoil La Salle Raheny, Minister Bruton added: “Improving the health and well-being of all students is a key priority of mine as Minister. Indeed, my Department are doing a huge amount to ensure all students are supported during their time in education, for example, we just introduced a new Well-being programme for Junior Cycle, of which CPR can be an element, this September and have increased the number of educational psychologists available to schools in the most recent budget.

Also speaking at the event, Commander John Wright, National Director of Order of Malta Ambulance Corps said:

“Last year more than 2,800 people received free CPR training during the week. CPR saves lives and we have had feedback of a number of potential fatalities that were prevented as a result of individuals that received training over the few short years of the project. I would like to commend our volunteers that provided 870 hours of training last year. We expect that this year will be even bigger.”

Last Year:
Over 2,800 people took part in our CPR Events nationwide
Over 600 completed a full Cardiac First Response (CFR) Course
1,000 hours were given by Order of Malta volunteers to train the public in how to save a life


Adams Gift

Sudden Cardiac Death

The 2006 Department of Health Report of the Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death (2006) estimates approximately 5,000 people will die from sudden cardiac death each year, including a small number of young people.

13-year old Adam McAndrew, the son of Order of Malta unit member Kerry, died from sudden cardiac death. Despite her grief and heartbreak, Kerry began an initiative to make Adam’s classmates aware of CPR and the importance of early access to Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), emergency services and good quality CPR.

Levels of CPR awareness are comparatively low in this country so Order of Malta Ireland is working with Kerry to amplify the message, encourage more people to learn the skill, and potentially save lives.

Minister Simon Harris TD said: ‘knowing CPR is a key life skill and one that everyone should know. I fully support the Order of Malta in their efforts to bring this message to the public and would encourage everyone to take part in one of their awareness sessions. I wish to commend the bravery of Kerry McAndrew who has spearheaded this initiative in her son’s memory. Wider awareness of CPR saves lives.’

Commander John Wright, National Director, Order of Malta Ireland said: ‘throughout the week members of our organisation will be providing free CPR awareness training IN OVER 80 LOCATIONS and CFR classes. They will also be checking the AEDs in their local communities. The 2006 report recommended increased availability and access to AED’s as a key priority in tackling this condition.’

“On the 12th of February, my heart was shattered into a million pieces when my 13 year old son Adam died of sudden cardiac arrest. I don’t think the pain will ever go away,but we can make sure that no-one else has to suffer the same pain. CPR saves lives, and this skill is Adam’s Gift to you.”

– Kerry McAndrew, Adam’s mum & member of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Birr/Roscrea Unit.

Listen to Pat Kenny on NewsTalk speaking to Kerry McAndrew, launching Adam’s Gift CPR Awareness Week 2015.


Adams Gift

The launch of ‘Adam’s Gift’ is an awareness initiative supported by the Order of Malta Ireland Ambulance Corps, with the aim of helping as many people as possible recognise the signs of cardiac arrest and to have the knowledge, training and confidence to offer their lifesaving skills if and when someone calls on their help. We want to train more potential lifesavers to help save more lives.

Lifesaving Skills

The Order of Malta Ireland Ambulance Corps, established in 1938, has over 4,000 members in over 80 communities North and South of Ireland. Cadet units, where young people aged between 10-16 years old are also trained in basic lifesaving skills, are attached to over 50 units.

In addition to training our members, each year Order of Malta Ireland trains over 3,500 members of the public from all walks of life, to ensure that each has the potential to save a life. This training is provided by units of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps in their local communities and Order of Malta Ireland Training Services, which is our commercial division, based in Clyde Road, Ballsbridge.

Why is this so important?

In the event of a collapse from cardiac arrest, every minute is vital, but without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or defibrillation, the chance of survival falls by up to 10% a minute. After just five minutes, that person may only have a 50% chance of survival. Recent figures issued show that bystander CPR has saved 6.5% of all cardiac arrests in Ireland, and annually some 5,000 people are losing their lives due to cardiac arrest.

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