26 Jul 2017

If you were faced with a person who was unconscious, had stopped breathing or was having a heart attack, would you feel comfortable giving them first aid? Lynsey Grant understands that many people are scared to intervene in case they do something wrong, but she is on a mission to change this.

"CPR is the most important life skill anyone could ever learn.  If you have a pair of hands and you're willing to do it you can make a difference not just to the patient but to their families and friends.

"You've given a patient a chance of survival if you have a go"

Lynsey is one of London's Air Ambulance Emeritus Paramedics. She is employed by London Ambulance Service and joined the charity in 2013 for a 9 month secondment.  She found the experience so rewarding she has kept up her connection and still does frontline shifts delivering advanced trauma care to the critically injured in London, alongside her day job with London Ambulance Service.

“I am part of the First Responder Team with London Ambulance Service, which is the umbrella for all our volunteer community responders.  I go out into the community teaching schools, businesses and groups the valuable life saving skills of CPR.”

For Lynsey it's all about confidence. "A lot of people won't intervene because they think they will harm the person. But their intervention could save their life. I like to break things down to a simple level, so it's easy to know what to do and they will know they can."

Armed with defibrillators and Resusci Annes (the training mannequins used for teaching CPR), Lynsey has found herself teaching everyone from Tower of London Beefeaters to the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers.  Lynsey also recently taught a group of charity crew and volunteers these crucial life saving skills enabling our staff to feel comfortable intervening and using a defibrillator.

“We explain what's going on with the heart.  A lot of people are worried that if they put a defibrillator on someone not in cardiac arrest they will hurt them, but you can't as the defibrillator will only shock a heart that needs shocking.

“The heart needs to be doing something called fibrillation - when electrical activity has gone haywire and it needs resetting - for the defibrillator to work.  

“I try and show them that they can't do it wrong.”

The training also covers what to do if someone is choking, how to clear airways and help a patient start breathing, and how to put someone in the recovery position.  

When Lynsey is asked why she does what she does, she replies simply “I wanted to make a difference”.

If you are interested in having CPR training, go to the London Ambulance Service's Resuscitation training courses at http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/about_us/involving_our_community/public_education/resuscitation_training_courses.aspx