First Responders so vital

I suspect that most of us wouldn’t have a clue about what to do if we were with someone who collapsed with a suspected heart attack or cardiac arrest, writes John Roberts.

It’s vital to act quickly as after a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation) and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10%, according to the British Heart Foundation.

In order to address a perceived need for training among the residents of Tarporley, courses concentrating specifically on CPR and the deployment of defibrillators (AEDs*) were organized by members of the Aquarobics group at the Macdonald Portal Hotel which kindly hosted the events. Around 30 persons in total attended the two courses which were led by a trio of First Responder volunteers: Jeremy Mills (Tarporley), Rob Selby (Tattenhall) and Mark Burton (Malpas).

After watching training videos and taking instruction from the First Responders, the trainees quickly learned the basics of applied CPR followed by the use and application of demonstrator AEDs. The correct use of an AED can save lives by providing an electric shock through the chest to stop the heart and hopefully allow it to return to normal rhythm when an arrest has occurred. The AED provides audible automated instructions for a person using the device which ensures correct use and safety. Said one trainee, “The course was interesting, fun and instructive. I now have the confidence to help someone if it happens near me in real-life”.

Currently, there are two functional AEDs in Tarporley: one in the Swan Hotel, the other in the High School. Recently, the Community Centre has taken delivery of a third one which has just been commissioned. According to Chris Cooke, Manager of the Leisure Club at the Macdonald Portal Hotel, his head office has assigned two new AEDs to the hotel, one for the Leisure Club the other for the Golf Club, which are soon to be delivered and installed.

After the courses, the newly-enthused trainees were keen to extend their knowledge of Basic Life Support through additional complementary sessions. Should demand for this training remain high, the First Responder volunteers have kindly agreed to provide further sessions. Details of forthcoming courses will be circulated and more information can be supplied by Jeremy Mills at

 *AED – An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia in a patient and is able to treat him/her through defibrillation (Wikipedia).

  •  Betty Paton with “Resusci Anne”