More ExtraCare in Birmingham

Defibrillator supplied to retirement village.

A retirement village in Birmingham is one of many to receive extra help to save lives thanks to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust provides retirement villages and housing schemes across the West Midlands. West Midlands Ambulance Service is midway through a project to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and train staff and residents in CPR and first aid in all of ExtraCare sites in the West Midlands.

Hagley Road Village, which opened in 2013 and has the capacity for over 350 residents, is the latest retirement complex to receive a defibrillator, a device used to shock a heart back into a normal rhythm when a patient suffers a cardiac arrest. A total of 20 residents and staff were trained in its use in December 2014.

John Yates, 68, along with his wife Kath were one of the first couples to move into the village. Both have been trained in first aid, CPR and how to use the defibrillator which is housed in the main reception of the village. John said: “As you can imagine there’s a real mix of residents, some who have absolutely nothing wrong with them medically and others who are very ill and need a lot of care. Kath and I decided to do the training along with residents and staff so that we can help our neighbours if someone has a cardiac arrest.

“I used to be a first aider at work so knew the basics but this defibrillator is fantastic! What most impressed me about the device was that it actually tells you what to do so you really don’t need training. If I forgot the training, I would still be comfortable using it.

“I think they’re a marvellous thing and I’m glad it’s here. It’s a comfort to know that it’s there and it’s a state of the art thing which is a big aid to help bring you back if you have a cardiac arrest. There are quite a few of us who have been trained, not only staff but residents too.”

Andy Jeynes, the Trust’s Community Response Manager, added: “For every minute that someone is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival diminishes by ten percent. CPR and defibrillation in the early stages of cardiac arrest could save their life and it is something that anyone can do. We’re proud to work alongside ExtraCare to help look after their residents and staff alike.”

Shirley Hall, ExtraCare Community and Well-being Manager said: “We’re grateful to West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for providing these life-saving defibrillators which offer a lifeline for those in need and have real value for our residents and community here at Hagley Road Village.”