Training partnership launched

More people in the east of England will undergo life-saving resuscitation training thanks to a partnership between the ambulance service and the British Heart Foundation.

The East of England Ambulance Service has won sponsorship worth £160,000 from the BHF to fund two community resuscitation officers for two years. Funding has been granted in recognition of the service's existing commitment to community resuscitation training.

The role of the new officers will be to promote life saving in a community setting, initiate Heart Start schemes and work with schools and local authorities to promote basic life support skills.
After initially bidding for a single post, a meeting between the BHF and Rob Lawrence, Suffolk chief operating officer and chair of the East of England Community First Response strategic group, prompted a rethink. Mr Lawrence said, "When we met the BHF we identified our two distinct but equally important priorities - first to develop the Heart Start programme and community resuscitation training in the Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire areas, and also to reinforce the considerable successes we have enjoyed in the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex areas.

"Given the large area we cover, one post was felt unlikely to cover both key tasks and, after consideration, BHF medical director Dr Mike Knapton approved the second post. This is an exciting project and to receive funding for both posts will help us to achieve all of our aims."

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