Kintbury councillor, Jon Hemphill, attended a Heartstart Thatcham course in 2017 where collaboration was formed. Jon arranged for a hall to be made available in his home village of Kintbury where he set the target of training a quarter of the population with at least CPR and defibrillator skills by the end of 2019. That is about 650 people.
Regarding the training and defibrillators Jon said “We are very fortunate to have three defibrillators in the village that are available 24 hours a day, and a further one available when the doctors surgery is open. However it is little point in having the machines if people don’t know how to use them or are scared of using them, the training is planned to address both of these issues. We have a long way to go to reach our target but we are delighted with the initial response”
The Heartstart Thatcham, together with Jon, have delivered five sessions throughout May and June and have seen over 60 people trained with CPR and defibrillator use. Scheme Coordinator, Nick Young, said, “all those that attended not only know how to perform CPR but where their local defibrillators are. We have removed their fear of using a defibrillator with all attendees trying one for themselves. In the event of a cardiac arrest this speeds up response time and gives a casualty the best possible chance of survival.”
There are still about 590 people to train to meet the target. Training with the team will recommence in September. The team are looking at various options, different days, times and working with other local organisations.