Last year, we were able to teach even more local people bystander CPR thanks to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. They funded a brand new mobile education unit which has allowed us to reach out to rural Lincolnshire communities.
Lincolnshire’s large geographical spread means that it can take a while for an ambulance to reach a patient who requires 999 medical attention, including a cardiac arrest. Without medical intervention, after suffering a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival reduces by 10% per minute. Therefore performing CPR on a patient will give them a chance of survival before medical assistance arrives. We need to teach bystander CPR so Lincolnshire residents can be there for neighbours, friends and relatives when minutes matter.
In 2017/2018 we taught thousands of local people bystander CPR in local venues such as schools and community centres but were unable to reach smaller, rural villages that did not have a suitable venue. These are the areas that are hit the hardest by long ambulance response times and are the areas that would benefit greatly from being taught lifesaving CPR.
Following its launch in April 2019, the education unit has been busy travelling the county. We have already reached some of those rural areas such as community spaces, village shows, workplaces and even a garden centre. By training 1 in 6 Lincolnshire people in CPR, it could save 280 lives a year, those that might have been lost waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Our impact resonates with us when families contact us post incident, giving us stories to tell which spreads our message wider, allowing us to raise funds and inspire future Community First Responders.