A SUFFOLK Youth football club has set up an emergency response team.
Witnesham Wasps FC has created the team to be able to respond in the event of an emergency at one of their matches or training sessions.
The move is the brainchild of Tom Ashcroft, who is manager of the U16s who play in the Suffolk Youth Football League on Saturdays and U17s, who play in the Ipswich & Suffolk Youth League on Sundays.
Instead of their usual midweek training session, the players attended a CPR session with six members of the St John Ambulance Ipswich Event Service Unit.
More than 20 players were at the event at Ipswich School Sports Centre in Rushmere, which donated the use of a room free of charge for the session.
John Nunn, who is Unit Manager for the Ipswich Event Service Unit, told those gathered: “Saving someone’s life is the most amazing thing that you can do.”
He then outlined the difference between someone suffering a cardiac arrest and a heart attack and demonstrated how to effectively use CPR.
The players were then given the opportunity to practice CPR with the help of members of the St John Ambulance Ipswich Event Service Unit.
Tom, who said the club hire a defibrillator on a monthly basis which they take to every game, explained that they aim to train players over the age of 13 in their ten Youth teams how to use CPR.
He said: “We are just trying to raise awareness throughout the grassroots game. We recently played away against another club who had just one young coach and no first-aid equipment and no defibrillator in the vicinity and that hit home that the more we can do to get this out there the better.
Players and officials of Witnesham Youth FC with members of the St John Ambulance Ipswich Event Service Unit after their CPR training session.
“I recently renewed my Level 2 Emergency First Aid. The FA Course strongly recommended having an emergency team in place on a match-day.
“In the past when I have been at games and there have been a limited number of spectators and I have had limited help, it has worried me massively that we have not got people who have got the knowledge and could help out if someone needs treatment.
“It could happen at any time, anywhere – it could be me or it could be an old lady walking her dog across a recreation ground.”
Tom, who said Witnesham Wasps FC will be making a donation to St John Ambulance Ipswich Event Service Unit, outlined how the emergency response team works.
“On a match day there will be at least six members of the emergency response team on duty, with a couple of parents co-ordinating things both before the fixture and on the morning of the match,” he said.
The event was timely as Restart a Heart Day takes place annually on October 16th.
The day provides an ideal opportunity for individuals and groups to learn and practice CPR techniques and life-saving skills.
Suffolk FA have partnered with the British Heart Foundation for the 2023-24 season.
Through the initiative the BHF will run five free CPR sessions to Suffolk clubs on a first come, first served basis.
The BHF are asking for a suggested £50 donation from the club for any additional sessions that are delivered during the season to cover travel costs.
To receive a free CPR session on a first come, first served basis, please email email@example.com