Local air ambulance delivers free CPR and defibrillation training to over 300 members of the public

18 October 2021

Visitors to Lakeside Shopping Centre on Saturday were offered free training to help them save someone’s life.

In support of international ‘Restart a Heart Day’ on 16th October, pre-hospital care doctors, critical care paramedics and volunteers from Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) were at the central atrium on the lower mall and delivered free CPR and defibrillation demonstrations and training to over 300 members of the public.

Adam Carr, Head of Patient and Family Liaison at EHAAT, who is also a Critical Care Paramedic, explained why the day was so important.

“We are a charity that provides a helicopter emergency medical service for the critically ill and injured of Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas. We deliver advanced lifesaving pre-hospital care directly to the side of patients; essentially bringing the A&E department to the patient when every second counts towards survival.

“Last year, we carried out just under 2,400 missions using our two air ambulances and 4 rapid response vehicles.  A large proportion of those were for medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, where the chance of survival is low. Therefore, early intervention is critical and teaching people the basic skills and giving them the confidence to deliver CPR, as well as how to use a defibrillator, can make a real difference to whether someone survives.”

The training sessions which were delivered by members of EHAAT’s clinical team took no more than 10 minutes and all participants were issued with a sticker when they had completed the session.

Adam continued. “Whether they’d learnt these skills before, or this was their first time, these sessions gave participants not only the awareness, hands on experience to learn, but also the confidence to help in those vital early minutes when someone collapses and stops breathing normally. I have no doubt that the skills they learnt could make the difference in the future between life and death for a loved one at home, a colleague at work, or a stranger in the street.”

The day also raised £500 for the air ambulance charity through donations by the public.

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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1108989). Registered company in England and Wales (05397840). Registered address: Flight House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester CO6 2NS.