FIREFIGHTERS have called on more people to access free Heart Start courses after the cardiac arrest suffered by Danish international Christian Eriksen at the Euros on Saturday night.

The former Tottenham Hotspur player suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch midway through his team’s first Euros game against Finland – his life was believed to have been saved by the quick response of medical staff who gave the player CPR on the pitch.

Will Richardson, group manager for prevention of risk at Cumbria Fire and Rescue service, thinks the incident shows that cardiac arrests do not discriminate against anyone and more needs to be done to educate people on vital CPR treatment.

“The fact that Christian Eriksen – one of the fittest players in the world – can have a heart attack tells us that anyone can have one. Even the fittest people in the world can have a cardiac arrest.

“And if people there know what they are doing they can save people’s lives, just by chest compressions.”

The fire officer also believes that the courses should be refreshed every to to three years to enable people to keep their knowledge of CPR up to date.

He said: “There is nothing wrong with having a refresher every two or three years. Everyone whose had a Heart Start needs a refresher.”

Cumbria Fire and Rescue service has delivered more than 320 of the courses over the past two to three years, and have also worked with sports clubs in the area such as Maryport Rugby League.

Mr Richardson wanted to emphasise that all organisations, not just sports club, should take part in the free courses as they can keep people alive until medical professionals are able to attend.

In the past two to three years more than 320 Heart Start courses have been delivered to organisations across the county by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

The training is provided completely free.

The fire service hope the events of the weekend will encourage more organisations to get involved.

Helen Aitchison, marketing and communications officer with the Cumberland Football Association, said: “Following the harrowing scenes at the weekend, our thoughts remain with Christian Eriksen and his family at this time.

“As a county FA we have been working with partners for a number of years to increase the number of defibrillators across Cumbria to support local communities and will continue to do so moving forward.

“Any training that clubs can access to increase the awareness of medical emergencies will be beneficial to grassroots football going forward.

“As well as local initiatives like the Fire Service, The FA also have a free awareness course available on The FA Bootroom along with other medical courses.

“We will continue to support clubs in the future working alongside our partners.

“Our thoughts continue to be with anyone who has been affected by this event on Saturday.”

To find out more information or book a Heart Start course you can email