Community First Responders train Councillors to become “London Lifesavers”

On Tuesday 30th November 2021, Michelle Twine (Havering CFR Unit Manager) and Jacqui Clare (East London District CFR Officer) ran the first of many courses at Romford SJA HQ to help members of the local community to become “London Lifesavers” and be confident to give Emergency Life Support to recognise heart attacks (MIs), cardiac arrest and how to manage choking incidents and to use a defibrillator.

This was one of the courses that will be running this year in association with London Ambulance Service in an effort to train 100,000 people to be “London Lifesavers”.

Many thanks to Councillor Gillian Ford and 14 members of the Havering Residents’ Association for being enthusiastic learners – the team hope to be presenting them with their certificates and badges very soon.

Cllr. Gillian Ford

They are of course just one of many London units which are helping LAS to deliver these invaluable courses – already Neal O’Gorman and Alan Pettitt are holding courses in their areas. London Lifesavers include trained responders, people who’ve taken part in one of the ‘train the trainer’ schemes and volunteers teaching lifesaving skills to people in their community.

They are looking forward to arranging similar courses to other local community bodies – and already have some planned with local church groups and sports clubs and are hoping to encourage even more people to take part so they can recognise and help to treat incidents which they may come across at any time.

What could I do to help save a life?

When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, the heart stops. Blood is no longer being pumped around their body and they are clinically dead. The longer they go without what is known as emergency life-support, the harder it is to restart their heart.

A defibrillator is a machine used to give an electric shock to restart a patient’s heart when they are in cardiac arrest.

Defibrillators are simple to use, and provide instructions on what to do as you use them, but many people lack the confidence to use them. In London there are over 6,000 defibrillators available in public places, and each year more lives are being saved by members of the public using one of these devices.

The team believe that by receiving training on emergency life support and becoming familiar with defibrillators, people are more likely to have the confidence to step in to help a bystander who is in cardiac arrest or more likely to know what to do if a loved one collapses at home.

Anyone can save a life. When a person is in cardiac arrest it is vital they receive prompt intervention and by using a defibrillator you cannot make the situation any worse. Defibrillators only provide a ‘shock’ to a person who needs one.

But receiving some training in emergency life support gives people far more confidence to step in to help potentially save a life.

Who are LAS ‘London Lifesavers?’

The London Lifesavers initiative is bringing together Londoners who have been trained to help save lives – to connect them to one of our community alerting systems such as the GoodSAM app to try to save more lives in the capital.

How can I get involved?

If your place of work, organisation or community group has a public access defibrillator or is interested in getting one, check out our Defibrillator Accreditation Scheme if you haven’t already and get in touch with us to see if you or your group could become London Lifesavers.

Contact Email: Mike Threadgold (Community First Responder Lead)

What happens when I become a London Lifesaver?

By becoming a London Lifesaver you will be joining a community of thousands of volunteers across the capital who have received emergency life support training. We will provide you with tips and advice on apps and systems you can download which alert you to a person near you in cardiac arrest who you could respond to and begin initial emergency life support assistance, before the arrival of London Ambulance Service crews.

We will also share positive news stories which highlight the importance of early intervention when a person goes into cardiac arrest, up to date information and examples of best practice and advice on keeping defibrillators in strong working condition.

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