April Pools Day campaign


Friday, 22 April, 2016

April Pools Day campaign

After much support for the inaugural April Pools Day pool safety initiative on 1 April, organisers said they are keen to keep the momentum going by encouraging more Australians to visit the campaign website throughout April and beyond to learn CPR and hear about other important pool safety messages.

The campaign was developed by various like-minded organisations in response to an alarming increase in the number of drownings in Australia, and is squarely targeted at increasing CPR-preparedness in the community.

John O’Brien, CEO of Poolwerx — the architects behind the campaign — said the website offers quick and easy-to-understand videos on how to perform CPR in an emergency for resuscitating babies, young children and adults.

“The videos have been produced and hosted by Laurie Lawrence, with his daughter Emma from Kids Alive and the staff at St John Ambulance — people who really know what they’re talking about,” said O’Brien.

While figures show around 200 people have so far clicked on the educational content, he had expected a greater response.

“Our aim is to triple the [number] of people who watch these videos by the end of the month and learn how to save a life... it only takes five minutes out of someone’s day to go to [the website] and take the refresher course,” said O’Brien.

Poolwerx had conducted research that found 75% of people surveyed felt they did not have the necessary basic CPR 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. It’s especially relevant given a 16% increase in drownings over summer,” said O’Brien.

“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.”

Research has shown that a child is four times more likely to survive a drowning if their parents know CPR and start immediately. Tammy Richie, mother of three, knows exactly how important CPR is — 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,” said Richie.

“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 are encouraging everyone to visit the website and watch their instructional videos.

“Drownings deaths are 100% 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,” they said.

For more information or to watch the videos go to www.poolwerx.com.au/about-us/april-pools-day.

Image caption: Tammy Ritchie with Laurie Lawrence, courtesy of Poolwerx.

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