‘Heartstart Shropshire CFR’ going from strength to strength

Friday 25th April 2014 – 1.05pm – Chris Kowalik.

Volunteers in Shropshire who are teaching basic lifesaving skills to the public are looking forward to the day they train their thousandth person.

In January 2013, ‘Heartstart Shropshire CFR’, supported by West Midlands Ambulance Service and the British Heart Foundation, set out to teach as many people in the county as possible.

Its inaugural course run by West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott was at Cheswardine Primary School attended over two sessions by a total of 28 adults and nine Year Six pupils.

Since then, the group has grown with more volunteers having been trained to become trainers themselves. There are now more than thirty active volunteers. The group also appointed its own co-ordinator last year; Andy Davies who is organising the training in the north of the county. He is also a Community First Responder.

Looking after the south of the county is Eddie Jones who was instrumental in setting up the Clun Valley AED (Automated External Defibrillator) scheme, helping parishes and villages buy a defibrillator and training people in their use.

Andy said: “We’ve done training at schools, WI groups and Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology. It is going from strength-to-strength through word of mouth and emails.”

Eddie added: “As the publicity grows, so does the number of groups requesting training. But we would call on sporting groups, such as cricket and football clubs to be trained and ensure their personnel recognise the dangers on sports fields.”

‘Heartstart Shropshire CFR’ will train anyone who wants to learn how to try to save someone who suffers a cardiac arrest – when the heart stops beating and the person stops breathing. It involves learning how to spot the need to deliver CPR, practising chest compressions and using a defibrillator.

Andy spoke at The Corbet School in Baschurch on Friday 4th April where he was delivering the latest in a series of lessons. The school is a keen supporter of Heartstart following an incident last year when someone collapsed on the site. In addition to inviting the team to give lessons, it has outside its reception a distinctive yellow wall-mounted cabinet housing a defibrillator.

Andy said: “Heartstart Shropshire CFR is a fantastic organisation and it is such an opportunity to get out there and teach them basic life support. There’s no hesitation, there’s no fancy first-aid course, it’s a “nuts-and-bolts” of keeping somebody alive which is what we need to do. The number of members of the public is nearing a thousand. There’ll be a big celebration on hitting the thousand-mark.

“One person trained is one person potentially out there to do it for real. We will train any amount of people. We’ll come in at any time of the day.”

To arrange a lesson, please contact Andy Davies on 07891 187 530 or email andygdfire@aol.com



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