Over the past eight years Oswestry Cambrian Rotary Club has been teaming up with Effie Cadwallader, presently with Welsh Ambulance Service Community First Responder’s (CFR’s), to hold sessions for the public to get them confident and competent to carry out Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and to use a defibrillator in the event of a heart emergency, as one of their community projects.

The community project has now topped 1,000 people trained in village and church halls, pubs and schools in and around Oswestry.

Community Responders are volunteers with advanced first aid and life-saving training who are now an integral part of the Ambulance system. These volunteers are even more important now with ambulance stations closing and ambulances waiting outside hospitals. Because they live in our community, they can be dispatched by ambulance control to incidents and be at the scene before paramedics and ambulances arrive.

Cambrian’s community project organiser Mike Lade, who is himself a retired CFR with 15 years experience with West Midlands Ambulance Service and before that, South East Coast Ambulance Service said, “In a Cardiac Arrest, early recognition and the call for help, early CPR and early defibrillation are the first three links in the Chain of Survival. When the heart stops, the brain starts to die at the rate of about 10% per min due to the lack of oxygen – that damage is not repairable. When the persons heart stopped, they had residual oxygen in their blood stream. By starting early CPR, the heart is made to manually pump that oxygenated blood around the brain to extend the time before permanent damage occurs and until a paramedic arrives.

That is why it’s so important that people are able to do good CPR and know how to apply a defibrillator as soon as possible after the person has collapsed from a cardiac arrest. We have these defibrillators now in boxes on walls around Oswestry and in the surrounding villages and they are available for use for such emergencies”.

No charge has ever been made for these sessions but there is a donations bucket for voluntary donations and that helps us buy new training dummies, training defibrillators and replace consumables etc.

There is no doubt that we need more volunteer responders. If anyone is interested in becoming a CFR then please contact the Rotary club and the contact details can be forwarded to the Ambulance Service.

Oswestry Cambrian Rotary Club is ready to welcome individuals and couples of 18+ from the local community who want to be “people of action”.  We meet face-to-face at The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, Oswestry on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm and meet up in the bar. Alternatively, people can join the meeting from wherever they are via our Zoom account connection.

For more information on what their new style of Rotary has to offer contact Mike Lade on 01691 570917, info@oswestrycambrianrc.co.uk or see www.oswestrycambrianrc.co.uk. Also, you can find us on Facebook @oswestrycambrianrc.

Pictured: A recent group from the village of Clive.