A NEW interactive course to teach vital emergency skills has been hailed a huge success.

Knutsford Community First Responders Trust volunteers show people the basics of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the recovery position, how to deal with choking and bleeding and how to use a defibrillator.

The charity has upgraded their original British Heart Foundation format with easy to understand videos and demonstrations.

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Knutsford mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner joined 25 people for the course, the first to be held since the start of the pandemic.

The lives of many people in the community have been saved by residents who have learnt first aid techniques since the first Heartstart classes started 19 years ago.

Adrian Rees, vice chairman of the trust, said: "If someone has a cardiac arrest or heart attack, these people now know what to do.

"If they hadn't been on the course they may have have panicked and perhaps walked away.

"But if nobody does anything and lets the patient lie there, there is only a five per cent chance they will survive."

First aiders have leapt into action whenever they have come across a casualty.

"Heartstart shows them what to do to keep a patient alive until the paramedics arrive,"said Adrian. "They provide that vital gap between someone collapsing and the time it takes for an ambulance to get there.

"If someone comes forward and does CPR or uses a defibrillator, a patient's survival rate rises to 60 per cent.

"Lots of people have saved lives."

Children as young as five up to people aged 90 have learnt lifesaving skills.

First aider Roger Turner, who attended the new course, praised volunteers for giving up their time. He said: "You do a fantastic job and Knutsford residents are safer for it."

Adrian added: "People have said they found this course much easier to understand.

"Everyone who attends is given a lapel badge to wear so that if they happen to see someone who needs help, people will know they have an understanding of what to do."

The free course runs every month in the Methodist Church on Princess Street.

To reserve a place visit kcfrt.org.uk/book-a-course.