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Parks staff get CPR training

Published on Thursday, August 25, 2016

STAFF working in the city council’s parks services are being trained in life-saving skills.

Defibrillators have recently been installed in many of the city’s parks and open spaces, including Abbey, Braunstone, Evington, Humberstone, Spinney Hill, Watermead and Victoria parks, and at Aylestone Hall Gardens as well as Rushey Fields and Cossington recreation grounds.

Now parks staff, volunteers and members of the community are being given training so that they know how to use the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) if the need arises.

They will also learn vital cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, so that they know what to do if someone collapses in suspected cardiac arrest.

The training is being provided for free by local charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT), which works to raise awareness of, and prevent, sudden heart deaths.

The most recent session took place at Abbey Park on Tuesday 23 August.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who leads on health integration for Leicester, said: “Our goal is to have a defibrillator in all our parks and open spaces – we made a manifesto commitment to do this.

“A defibrillator is a vital piece of life-saving equipment, and it’s good to see them becoming a more common sight across cities, towns and villages in our region and beyond.

“But what’s equally important is that people know how to use a defibrillator and perform CPR if the need arises.

“That’s why we’re pleased to be working with the JHMT to ensure as many people as possible learn these vital life-saving skills.”

Assistant city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, who has responsibility for culture, leisure and sport, said: “I’m very pleased that parks staff and friends of parks groups are learning these skills and that we already have so many defibrillators in place. We’ll continue this work and we will continue to work with charities like the JHMT to raise awareness of the importance of learning how to save a life.”

Dr Mike Ferguson from the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust said: ”Sadly, in the UK, there are 60,000 cardiac arrests every year in the community. Half of these are witnessed, often by family and friends, but the survival rate is less than 10 per cent. 

“Only 20 per cent of victims are in a ‘shockable rhythm’, which is treatable by defibrillation, by the time an ambulance arrives. Survival is much more likely when a shockable rhythm is present.  

“The proportion of people in a shockable rhythm could be increased if more cardiac arrest victims received immediate and effective CPR from bystanders. That’s why we’re so keen to provide this vitally important training and make sure as many people as possible know what to do to increase someone’s chances of survival.

“With cardiac arrest, it is better for a bystander to do something than to do nothing.”

To find out more about the JHMT, visit

 To find out more about Leicester’s parks and green spaces, visit