Last year, our crews attended 333 patients who were suffering a cardiac arrest. This year the charity has so far attended 142 more people whose heart stopped beating. This is the most common reason for their emergency medical team to be called to help. 

Earlier this year, we launched our ‘Help with all your Heart’ campaign to raise awareness about cardiac incidents and help the public to recognise the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. The campaign also aimed to provide useful information to help people become more confident in stepping in to help someone in cardiac arrest should the need arise.  

To support the vital importance of bystander help in local communities, we have begun to install a public Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at each of their 19 charity shops in Devon, however, our Okehampton Shop already has a defib situated right opposite our shop, so this created a spare unit which could be positioned elsewhere in the town.  

After looking at potential sites for the spare defib, our Operations Manager, Darren Goodwin, approached St James Primary School to see if they would like to host a defib on their premises. They were thrilled to be able to have a defib on-site and the installation was soon arranged.  

Darren Goodwin said: 

We were incredibly pleased that the team at St. James accepted our offer of fitting the spare defibrillator at their school. Positioning it at school will also help to familiarise our younger generations with the kit and enable them to see these as something ‘ordinary’ that can be used by anyone to help to save a life.  

‘Coupled with our recent training sessions, we are confident that by making more of these units available across the local communities we serve, more people will feel confident in offering assistance before professional medical help arrives.’ 

Geraldine Carter, Associate Principal at St. James commented: 

This is an essential piece of life saving equipment that is not only here for the school but for the community, too. The health and safety of our children and families is, and will always be, our top priority. We would like to thank Devon Air Ambulance for providing the defibrillator for our school and community.

Devon Air Ambulance is hoping to hold more Defib/CPR training sessions in Devon communities later in the year. If you would like to be notified about future training locations as they become available please register your interest.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the kindness and generosity of those that choose to support this life-saving local charity. We welcome your continued support.