A LARGE scale programme of CPR training is set to be rolled out across Malvern in the wake of former councillor Chris Cheeseman’s death.
The district council’s executive committee gave the go-ahead to the move last week and also agreed to spend £3,000 on three defibrillators to be located on council premises – the council house, waste depot and Brunel House.
The motion tabled by Coun Julian Roskams, also called for an assessment of the need for further equipment throughout the district, although words of caution were issued about locating defibrillators outside due to the risk of people misusing them.
Coun Hannah Campbell, who ran over to Malvern Splash to fetch a defibrillator on the night Mr Cheeseman collapsed, echoed the warning.
She said: “As a whole we all realised we needed to act as a council together after what happened and the automatic reaction was that we needed more defibrillators across the district.
“But there is great concern in the wrong hands it will be pigeons rather than people receiving treatment.”
Executive councillor Mike Soley also stressed the need for people to be properly trained in order to use the equipment and warned defibrillators should not be located outside of buildings. He called for them to be put in doctors’ surgeries instead.
Other obstacles to be investigated include the costs of maintaining defribillators installed in outdoor locations such as phone boxes.
Amanda Smith, the council’s community services manager, argued rolling out CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) training throughout Malvern would be more effective approach.
“It is people who save lives,” she said. “My message would be to encourage people to gain solid First Aid skills. We have funded a St. John’s Ambulance run a course with the Neighbourhood Watch which resulted in one person saving a life.”
Following the meeting Martin Lawrence, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator who has called for more defibrillators in Malvern since November, reacted angrily to warnings about outdoor equipment, branding naysayers as ‘ill-informed’.
He argued councillors were happy to protect themselves by having the kit in their own property while residents in more rural communities would still be at risk.
Mr Lawrence pointed towards evidence from the British Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council (UK), which calls for defibrillators to be widely available in public places with no requirement for any formal training.