Couple pledge to make CPR training an annual event after near-death drama during fire at their home - The Leamington Observer

Couple pledge to make CPR training an annual event after near-death drama during fire at their home

Leamington Editorial 13th Jun, 2022   0

A COUPLE in south Warwickshire who became campaigners for CPR following a major fire at their home have hailed their inaugural community first aid training day a success.

In January, 64-year-old Steve Taylor collapsed while trying to contain a blaze at Winchcombe Farm, a holiday retreat he runs with his wife Jo Carroll in Upper Tysoe.

Steve was recently reunited with the firefighter who managed to resuscitate him after administering CPR at the scene for more than 20 minutes while the blaze was still raging.

Now the father-of-two is continuing his recovery at home after undergoing a triple heart bypass and having a defibrillator fitted in his heart.

He has gone on to become an advocate for the UK Resuscitation Council, helping to raise awareness of the importance of everyone learning life-saving CPR skills.

Some 28 members of the community joined Winchcombe staff for the recent event, hosted by Gill Cleeve of Brookvale First Aid.

It also marked the unveiling of a new defibrillator on the Winchcombe Farm Holidays site, the second in the village. There is also one at the old fire station.

Gill, who also became the new Stratford mayor earlier this month, said: “CPR training is so valuable to a community, it will give people, the knowledge and confidence to step in and help if the worst should happen. This is why I’m always delighted to be asked to train community groups.

“Training doesn’t take long, but it can have a lifelong impact on someone’s life. Without CPR the person will die within minutes and the chances of survival will get lower the longer it takes someone to help.

Steve said: “Gill very kindly offered to run this training course for us, after she heard how CPR saved my life. We threw the invitation open to everyone in our village and are thrilled that so many people wanted to join us.

“Less than one in ten people who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the UK survive. By training our community in life saving skills, if the worst happens, they’ll be there to give someone the best possible chance of survival.”

While bystander CPR is attempted in seven out of ten cases, using a public access defibrillator is reported less than one in ten.

A cardiac arrest happens when there is a problem with the heart’s rhythm, meaning it stops oxygenated blood from pumping around the body. This will lead the person to collapse, stop breathing and become unconscious.

The family is still counting the cost of the blaze which was started by an ember from their log burner. They are now living in temporary accommodation in one of their guest lodges while the repairs on their home continue.

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