The importance of bystander cardio pulmonary resuscitation – CPR – in improving survival in cases of cardiac arrest is well established in the international medical literature. The importance of early CPR was highlighted in the report of the review group on the ambulance service (1993). The community CPR initiative run by the Irish Heart Foundation aims to provide CPR training to the public throughout the country and my Department provides funding annually to support this initiative.
The cardiovascular health strategy Building Healthier Hearts also highlights the importance of pre-hospital emergency cardiac care and recommends further expansion of community CPR initiatives. I am committed to the further development of pre-hospital services in line with the recommendations of the cardiovascular health strategy and will be providing further support to build on progress to date in the development of CPR training nationally.