Willunga High student leads push for CPR and first aid classes in school


A WILLUNGA High School student who saved his father’s life after he had a heart attack has led a push that will see his fellow classmates trained in CPR and first aid.

Year 11 student Dylan Archdall, 16, performed vital CPR on his father John, 51, as his mother relayed instructions from a triple-0 operator in the early hours of April 22, 2012.

Dylan had never had CPR training before his father stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest, but copied what he had seen on television.

Dylan and his father came up with the idea to have first aid taught at Willunga High while he was recuperating in hospital.

“All my mates are behind me on this because they have never been in a situation like that before,” Dylan, of Prospect Hill, said.

“It could make a difference if they get in a situation where they need it.

“I would be going into classes when they are being taught and telling them my story and what happened – that way they might be more enthusiastic to learn.”

Onkaparinga Council has given $1000 to Willunga High to train 45 senior students, starting later this year, but the school is hopeful of further funding to continue it next year.

Dylan, who was nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal last year, has completed a comprehensive first aid course since his father’s heart attack and will be involved in the classroom training.

School administration assistant Michele Small said it was important students were trained so they knew what to do if ever confronted with a life or death situation.

“Because Dylan was able to save his father’s life, we are trying to transfer that knowledge through training over to other students,” she said.

“It was his initiative and we collaborated with him to work out a program so eventually all students could learn first aid.”

Year 12 student Ben Martin, 17, said Dylan’s input in the first aid lessons would help other teenagers relate to the training.

“It actually happened with him so he will be able to say exactly what happened and show us what he did and how he coped with the situation,” he said. “It will be from a personal experience from someone your age you will be able to relate to.”

Mr Archdall recovered after having three tubes inserted into his heart and is back working as a vineyard contractor.

Get First Aid and CPR training today with North Shore First Aid. Expect the unexpected! Course dates are now listed on the book a course page. Schools can ask for a private course discount for 15 or more students.