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New programme teaches vital life-saving skills

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 February 2019

GLL staff learning life-saving skills at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

GLL staff learning life-saving skills at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

Awil Mohamoud

A new training programme to teach important life-saving skills to organisations and businesses has launched at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Teach the Beat volunteer Steve Morris. Picture: Awil MohamoudTeach the Beat volunteer Steve Morris. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

The Teach the Beat scheme saw staff from leisure company GLL taught to do chest compressions and to use a defibrillator.

They are now expected to pass those skills on to others when they return to their workplaces and communities. The London Ambulance Service estimates those 61 learners will teach 6,000 people this year.

Chris Hartley-Sharpe, head of first responders, said: “There’s this misconception that people have – that this is something only done by healthcare professionals. It’s something that pretty much everyone can do. Our objective is for everybody in London to know how to use a defibrillator.”

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body. An ambulance would usually take around seven minutes to arrive but early intervention from those nearby would increase a person’s chances of survival.

Ashley Bickers has helped to save the lives of two people. Picture: Awil MohamoudAshley Bickers has helped to save the lives of two people. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

Teach the Beat volunteer Steve Morris, 64, suffered a cardiac arrest four years ago while exercising at the gym.

“The gym staff were on me within two minutes,” he said.

“They gave me chest compressions and one shock with the defibrillator. I was clinically dead for four minutes but they brought me around.”

The ambulance took 14 minutes to reach Steve. He said he’d be dead if it weren’t for the staff stepping in.

“It’s now my passion that I train other people,” he added.

Ashley Bickers, general manager at the Hackney Marshes Centre, spoke about how he used his training to save two lives within the same month.

The first incident occurred while he was at work, where a footballer collapsed on the pitch.

Ashley, 26, said: “I grabbed the defibrillator and the first aid box and made my way onto the pitch.

“I saw what was in front of me and training just kicked in. I did all my checks and used the defibrillator and did CPR.”

With the second incident, he was driving and saw a man in his 50s collapsed in the street.

He said: “I offered my help and took over again but at that time, we didn’t have a defibrillator. I had to use CPR and wait for the ambulance to arrive.”

Both patients survived thanks to Ashley and his skills.

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