South Warwickshire couple follow fire drama with community CPR training day

Photo: Steve Taylor, Gill Cleeve and Jo Carroll with the new defibrillator

Submitted by Amanda Chalmers

A South Warwickshire couple who had a major fire at their home last year have praised the local community for their support of the first aid training day.

Steve Taylor and his wife Jo Carroll became CP activists after Steve, 64, collapsed while trying to contain a fire at a Winchcombe farmhouse in Upper Tysoe.

Steve recently tracked down the firefighter who managed to resuscitate him after administering CPR at the scene of the holiday retreat the couple ran together, for more than 20 minutes while the fire was still raging.

Now the father-of-two continues his recovery at home after undergoing triple heart bypass surgery and having a defibrillator installed in his heart. He then became an advocate for the UK Resuscitation Council, helping to raise awareness of the importance for everyone to learn life-saving CPR skills.

Gill Cleeve gives CPR training

Some 28 community members joined Winchcombe staff for the event, organized by Gill Cleeve of Brookvale First Aid. It also marked the unveiling of a new defibrillator at the Winchcombe Farm Holidays site, the second in the village. There is also one at the old fire station.

Gill, who also became mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon earlier this month, said: ‘CPR training is so valuable to a community that it will give people the knowledge and confidence to step in and help. if the worst should happen. That’s why I’m always happy to be asked to form community groups.

“Training doesn’t take long, but it can have a lifelong impact on someone’s life. Without CPR, the person will die within minutes and chances of survival will decrease the longer it takes for someone to l ‘assistance.

“Each year in the UK, NHS ambulance services attempt to resuscitate around 30,000 people. Most cardiac arrests occur at home (around 80%) or in the workplace (around 15%).”

All Tysoe Social Club participants

Steve Taylor, owner of Winchcombe Farm Holidays, said: “Gill very kindly offered to run this training course for us, after hearing how CPR saved my life. We extended the open invitation to anyone the world in our village and we are delighted that so many people wanted to join us.

“Less than 1 in 10 people who have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in the UK survive. By training our community in lifesaving techniques, if the worst happens they will be there to give someone best chance of survival.”

Cardiac arrest occurs when there is a problem with the heartbeat, which means it prevents oxygenated blood from flowing through the body. This will cause the person to collapse, stop breathing and lose consciousness.

Gill Cleeve with a training dummy

The family of four is still counting the cost of the fire that was started by an ember from their wood stove. They are now living in temporary accommodation in one of their guest lodges while repairs to their home continue.

Jo said: “Gill is just the most fabulous trainer and has taken all the fear out of administering CPR, should you ever find yourself in the situation where it is needed. She has covered everything you might need know to help save someone’s life in the event of a cardiac arrest, including how to use a defibrillator.

“It was such a success, and there is so much demand from the local community to learn these skills, we hope to make this an annual event.”

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