Kirwin Hampshire is the 2019 Head Boy of Pompallier College in Whangarei. Kirwin recently started a petition to the House of Representatives to urge the Ministry of Education to include CPR and first aid training in the New Zealand education curriculum. The New Zealand Resuscitation Council asked Kirwin about what his drivers were behind starting this petition.
I’m currently in my last year of high school at Pompallier College in Whangarei. In class we’re encouraged to take social action, as part of the charism of the college. However, there was no issue that I felt was compelling or needed special attention. That was until one night I was talking to my mother who is a primary school teacher. She talked about how kids aren’t really taught practical life saving skills. We talked together about the possibility of teaching CPR or how to deal with choking in New Zealand schools. I went away that night and researched other countries’ efforts in teaching CPR in schools and found the Kids Save Lives movement.
I thought about how time is spent in health class at school talking about abstinence, rather than learning lifesaving skills, such as CPR and First Aid which would have a positive impact on society. It seemed to me that a standardised CPR programme being taught at school would be a great way to use that time in class productively.
My only knowledge of CPR comes from YouTube videos and my step father, who is a firefighter. Ultimately teaching CPR in Schools seems like something we should have always been doing as a country. Teaching this skill has the potential to save many lives and bestow children with knowledge that builds confidence.
My grandparents and parents are also slowly ageing, and it would be great to know there is more people around who could help them. I also have selfish reasoning, I run a lot, and If I ever suffer a cardiac arrest it’d be great to have someone around who knows what to do to save my life!
Kiwin’s Petition is currently active and will close on 23 October 2020, Sign and Share this petition to help get CPR taught in New Zealand Schools. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_92962/petition-of-kirwin-hampshire-kids-save-lives-introduce