Firefighters share lifesaving skills with their community

27 March 2018
Learning how to use a defibrillator

​Guilsborough firefighters have provided emergency first aid training to residents so they can better help people in cardiac arrest.

A defibrillator has been mounted on the wall of Guilsborough Primary School since early last year, and although the machine will talk a user through what to do, the community approached the crew to ask if they could provide first aid training to improve people’s knowledge and skills.

Firefighters Steve McGlasson and Luke James organised a training evening at the on-call fire station in Pells Close, which was attended by around 25 people, from children to those in their 80s.

Firefighter McGlasson said: “A lot of people know the defibrillator is there but don’t know how to use it. The device can be used by anyone and gives you clear instructions, but learning more about it, as well as basic life support and CPR skills, is a great way to be prepared.”

Importance of knowing first aid

Attendees were taught how to do CPR using specialised mannequins which give feedback on the effectiveness of chest compressions. They were able to practise the use of a defibrillator, and also learned what to do if someone is choking or bleeding heavily.

The first aid training was attended by all ages

The training followed the British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart programme, which aims to teach emergency life-saving skills to the public.

Guilsborough’s Crew Manager Staci Courtney said: “Early intervention in a medical emergency like a cardiac arrest is vital. For every minute without CPR, a person’s chance of survival drops by 10 per cent.

“You don’t have to do rescue breaths if you don’t want to, but providing chest compressions or using a defibrillator is so much better than doing nothing at all.

“The defibrillator pack shows you how to attach the pads and the device will detect the heart’s rhythm. It won’t let you give a shock unless one is required, so you can’t cause any harm.”

Anyone interested in organising a first aid training event with the Guilsborough crew should email  

Find out more about HeartStart

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