LIFE-SAVING group Heartstart Thatcham has trained its 1,000th person with vital emergency skills.
The group reached the milestone at St George’s Church in Wash Common on July 3.
The 17 people on the course, which teaches people the skills of CPR and recovery position along with how to use a defibrillator, took the total number of people trained by the group to 1,006 in the four years since it held its first session.
Scheme director for Heartstart Thatcham, paramedic David Hamer, said: “This is an amazing milestone for the team to reach.
“Over the last few years, Dr Nick Young and the team have worked tirelessly to train members of the public in basic life support and install defibrillators across the West Berkshire region.
“I’m extremely grateful for the hard work these volunteers have put in and hope the skills they teach may at some point save a life.”
Heartstart Thatcham held its first public training session in August 2013 and installed its first public defibrillator at the Henwick Worthy sports ground in October 2014.
Scheme co-ordinator Nick Young said: “Firstly, ignore the Thatcham in our name.
“We seem to cover a lot of West Berkshire and beyond, but also keep in mind that the team are 100 per cent volunteers.
“I have a dedicated, hard working and enthusiastic team that make Heartstart Thatcham the success it has become today.”
The latest session saw a defibrillator installed at St George’s, after the church approached the team.
Robin Clugston, from St George’s, said: “We felt it was time that the local Wash Common community had ready access to a defibrillator.”
Working with the church, Heartstart members helped raise additional funds through Karen West, who ran the London Marathon for the charity.
She said: “I saw a defibrillator used in real life and I know that they save lives, so when I managed to get a ballot place for the London Marathon I knew about Heartstart Thatcham and the defibrillators they are installing in the local area.
“I wanted to help raise money for a fantastic cause.”
Mrs West was presented with two books on CPR and defibrillators at the unveiling.
The life-saving device in Wash Common takes the number installed across West Berkshire to 43 and they will be hitting 47 by the end of July, with four more already ordered.
Nick Young added: “Being able to perform CPR and use a defibrillator is only half the battle, the other half is removing the fear.
“Using these gives a cardiac arrest casualty the best possible chance of survival.”
For more information, or to book a course, contact 07810 145690, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.heartstartthatcham.info