Helping to save lives with AED training boost
A NEW initiative will see students, volunteers and members of the public trained to use lifesaving equipment thanks to The Cornishman's Heart Start campaign.
Working alongside the Penzance-based Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity (RRMC), this newspaper has been campaigning to get more public access defibrillators installed at strategic locations across Cornwall.
Heart Start is aiming to get 100 'defibs' in place and 500 people trained to use them.
The training side of the campaign has been given a boost thanks to the RRMC securing six HeartSine automated external defibrillator (AED) trainer units to add to the three it already has.
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Founder of the RRMC Paul Williams said more are planned.
He said: "Cornwall will have enviable communities AED trained like nowhere else in the UK.
"Indeed, we have introduced new benefits in training to ensure all have the opportunity to be trained as part of our PAD programme."
One of the ways the equipment will be used is at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service stations.
Mr Williams said all of the service's 31 stations across Cornwall will be opened to the RRMC for AED training. He said: "Free training will be available for those on low incomes and benefits.
"Others will be invited to make a donation towards training cost and funding for more equipment. It is the first county fire brigade in the country to run the scheme."
The six new trainer units will also allow group training in schools. Humphry Davy School, Mounts Bay Academy and Cape Cornwall School, which have been AED equipped through the Heart Start programme, will be able to train more than 2,000 pupils.
Mr Williams said: "Schools are the future in providing the training skills needed for community-based PAD schemes."
In addition, all PAD sites will be given on loan to the trainers periodically, so trained personnel are able to practise their skills.
It is another training first to be introduced in the country.
Mr Williams said he wanted to stress the importance of training in a cardiac arrest situation.
"A person's life depends on it," he said. "It is important the person attending the victim is able to deliver confident CPR quickly and ideally an AED is available. Waiting for help is not an option. The victim will not survive. It is why we have given the opportunity to all to be trained."
The RRMC is a charity of unpaid volunteers.
To find out more or to donate or learn how to obtain a defibrillator for your community, contact Mr Williams on 01736 360864 or 07581 188043 or e-mail paulwilliams29@ live.co.uk or email@example.com