Children from as young as 11 to octogenarians, councillors and council staff and even Marlborough’s town clerk Shelley Parker all took part in Defibrillator Training Day held by the Friends of Savernake Hospital and The Community at the town hall.
There was a queue of people at the door of the Town Hall from the start and during the seven hour session an estimated 300 people learned how to use the potentially life saving equipment in the seven bright yellow boxes at seven sites in the town.
“To start children off knowing what should be done in this sort of crisis is hugely helpful, as they grow up with the idea firmly implanted and may even be able to assist untrained adults with the knowledge they have in an emergency,” Friends of Savernake committee member Val Compton told Marlborough News Online.
Janet Louth, who chairs the Friends, declared: “We were delighted at the turnout of local people for the second Defib training session we have organised. Our administrator, Pat Harper, ensured that everything was in place, organised and that the event ran smoothly.
“There are probably 500 people in our community who are now familiar with the practicalities of taking action should the need arise, plus of course many more who have received training through other routes”.
And she added: “What staggered me was that most people had no idea about how to access the defibrillator boxes, also the amount of misconceptions around their use were enormous.
“This was something that we have been able to address through training sessions, but now perhaps we should thinking about facilitating more information getting into the wider community.
“We need to bust the myths around defibrillators. It something for Friends to think about”.
Particular praise went to Basic Life Support trainer Julie Habgood. “She was so welcoming, smiling and professional,” said Mrs Compton.
“Julie had about five minutes’ break in the session, keeping going as a constant stream of people arrived throughout the day. She was absolutely wonderful – despite much of the time spent on her knees demonstrating, a not altogether comfortable position.”