EHAAT delivers free CPR and defib training to over 845 members of the public
In support of national ‘Restart a Heart Day’, which took place on Monday 16th October, pre-hospital care doctors, critical care paramedics and volunteers from Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) delivered free CPR and defibrillation demonstrations and training to hundreds of people within their local communities.
EHAAT has supported the event for a number of years, usually visiting Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock. But this year, the team also paid a visit to South Mimms Services in Hertfordshire, where members of the public were offered free training to help them save someone’s life.
Over 845 children and adults took part in the training, looked on by hundreds more who stood watching from the side lines. What made it all the more relevant this year, was that the CPR training fitted in nicely with EHAAT’s Centre for Excellence vision; to create a community through which pre-hospital care is developed to achieve the best possible outcomes for people in its region and beyond. The CPR training came under EHAAT’s Centre for Excellence ‘Community Pillar’, that aims to offer education to the people of Essex and Hertfordshire on how to assist in an emergency.
Adam Carr, Centre for Excellence Clinical Community Lead 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 2,600 missions, using our two air ambulances and five 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 crucial 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 offered a certificate and 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 and 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.”
Although the day was not about fundraising for the charity, over £500 was collected from donations made by the public.