Basic Life Support

with the East Anglian Air Ambulance

— Tidings, November 2019 —

On Thursday 3 October, Kirby Cane & Ellingham Parish Council welcomed 14 people to a very interesting training session at Kirby Cane Memorial Hall on basic life support and the use of a defibrillator. The training was led by Doug Penry, a volunteer with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Over 40% of EAAA callouts involve cardiac arrest, Doug told the participants, and he stressed how important cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was in keeping patients alive while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. Everyone had a chance to practice the CPR technique on the mannequins Doug had brought with him, and realised how tricky it can be, for example, to achieve the correct amount of pressure to give worthwhile chest compressions.

It was useful to have a closer look at the defibrillator, which is housed in a yellow cabinet on the front of the Memorial Hall. During an emergency call, 999/112 operators talk members of the public through the steps they must follow when dealing with a cardiac arrest. The defibrillator itself is automated and will give instructions at each stage. It was helpful to be able to see the unit, nonetheless, and be told, in calm and unpressurised circumstances, how it should be used in an emergency.

The session helped to demystify the CPR process, and all present were glad to hear that, as of next year, all secondary school children will be taught these important techniques.

The Parish Council is very grateful to Doug Penry and the EAAA for providing this training, and for all the work the organisation does across our region – it is a charitable body and relies wholly on donations to keep operating throughout the year.

Jane Love