28 Nov 2021

National Ambulance Service to mark Restart a Heart Day

National Ambulance Service to mark Restart a Heart Day

Today, the National Ambulance Service will participate in Restart a Heart Day to highlight that everyone can and should become familiar with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Restart a Heart Day is an annual training event on October 16 relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillator use. Traditionally the event is marked by education and training being offered to the general public in CPR and what to do in the event of a heart attack. This is hands-on event across Europe, offering training by medical professionals and lay rescuers. 

The aim of Restart a Heart Day is to bring awareness, education and training to the general public in order to increase the likelihood of lives being saved in the event of a cardiac arrest, as the early moments after this occurs are critical and a trained person on the scene can make the critical difference.

To mark Restart a Heart Day and increase awareness of the importance of CPR, the National Ambulance Service are holding a reunion of all involved in the resuscitation of a toddler on October 16 at 2pm in Castleblayney Ambulance Station, Co. Monaghan.

This will include the first paramedics to arrive, the Ambulance call takers and dispatchers, local fire brigade and the child's hospital doctor.

According to National Ambulance Service Director, Robert Morton, “On August 3, 2020 there was a 999 call for a toddler who was drowning in the Loughmourne area of Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.  A toddler had a fall into a garden pool and stopped breathing. The toddler’s mother rang 999 and, along with a neighbour, performed CPR on the instructions of the call taker.  

A number of ambulance resources were dispatched - including an emergency ambulance, intermediate care vehicle, community paramedic and the AC112 helicopter. A local fire unit and An Garda Síochána attended also. The child was transferred to Dublin by air and subsequently made a substantial recovery despite being critical on arrival.’’

If someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival double if it happens in front of a bystander who immediately rings 112/999 and starts CPR before an ambulance’s arrival. If not, every minute without CPR will reduce the chance of cardiac arrest survival by 7 – 10%. It is essential that bystanders can recognise what is happening, call 112/999 for help, and begin CPR as soon as possible. For information on training, please email

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