First Aid Courses will start in Redditch on Saturday February 9th at 10am & Tuesday March 5th at 6;30 pm 2013 at  Batchley community Centre, and will be conducted by West Midlands Ambulance Service
We would like to offer FREE basic life support courses and how to use a AED to all of our followers and your family and contacts too.
If you would like to learn how to do CPR and treat a casualty in cardiac arrest please respond to this message or sign up at Batchley community centre, so that we can get a feel for how popular this course will be.

This vital skill may save a life one day.

Please re-post this onto your Facebook page and Twitter, all courses will be held in Redditch communities on a number of dates to be arranged.

The more people that would like to attend the more dates we will add.
Over 100,000 people a year in the UK suffer a cardiac arrest, also on average of 19 children die each week in our UK schools.The survival rate outside of the hospital setting is only 5% but by knowing how to do effective CPR will increase this figure.
Without a defibrillator available your chances are only 5% but with one and CPR the chances increase to approx 75-80%.
This FREE course is our way of thanking you for your support but also another way of looking after our community.
Although this is a FREE course for all to attend.
If people wouldn’t mind making a small donation to enable us to buy more defibrillators for Redditch it would be very much appreciated.

Contact Robert underwood here  for more details



A hospital worker using a defibrillator A hospital worker using a defibrillator

Sunday January 6,2013  (Sunday Express article)

By Hilary Douglas

CHARLOTTE PRENTICE Underwood was a sporty 16-year-old girl who rarely had a day off school. Then on December 19 two years ago she woke with a tight face and was taken to hospital. Staff diagnosed mumps and sent her home with a prescription for Ibuprofen and sleep.

The next day she was dead, one of 270 children who die after suffering sudden cardiac arrest, or Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), in Britain each year.Since then her father Robert Underwood has raised thousands of pounds to install life-saving defibrillator machines, which restore normal heart rhythm, into as many schools and public places as possible.”The morning she died Charlotte woke saying she couldn’t breathe,” says Mr Underwood. “We tried CPR as best we could but she had stopped breathing by then as we waited for the ambulance to come.”The hospital staff were amazing and tried tirelessly to save her. They kept on trying something else. In the end, they had to stop as it was just to no avail, she was gone. Our beautiful, sporty, fit 16-year-old’s heart had stopped working; it was almost impossible to comprehend.”

The coroner finally came back with a verdict of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

“Like anyone would I looked it up on the internet and learned that it is when the heart goes too fast or too slowly and leads to a cardiac arrest,” says Mr Underwood.

“Charlotte was lying in her bed, so she wasn’t exercising or anything when she arrested. It was just a complete mystery and we were left with only part of the answer to what had happened.

“That was the moment I decided that Charlotte’s life wouldn’t be in vain. I read that CPR increases the chances of survival by five per cent but that a defibrillator hikes those chances up to 75-80 per cent survival rate.

“The machines cost around £970 each and every five years they need to have around £200 spent on them to replace the batteries and the pads which apply the shocks to the heart.

“In America they are already in most schools and public places and I will campaign till I drop to have it law for them to be in every school here. Every school and public place has to have a fire extinguisher, which is hardly ever used.

“The argument against defibrillators is that they would not be used often and would need special training.

“Anyone can use them: they are for the non-medically trained and actually speak to the person operating them. You just have to switch them on and apply the pads for the machine to take a reading.

“They won’t shock people who have not had a heart attack. They only operate when the heart is in an irregular rhythm and speak to the operator all the time telling them exactly what to do next. Obviously training is preferable but a total novice could use them with little difficulty to save a life.

“It is not like something off Casualty. These are tiny machines which can be stored on a cupboard shelf, not the trolleys you see trundling down wards on the telly.”

Mr Underwood is currently asking people to sign a petition to get a machine in every school and has already raised enough cash to purchase 14 defibrillators for schools around Redditch, where he lives, along with the YMCA building and Redditch United football club which is used by 20 youth teams throughout the week.

Last year he ran the 100metres in the Olympic Stadium before the Games opened to raise money and has cycled 1,200kilometres to bring in more cash.

Most schools have welcomed the defibrillators, but one primary school, St George’s First School in Redditch, turned down the offer after Worcestershire County Council’s health and safety department said they were not suitable for use on small children. “I was utterly outraged,” says Mr Underwood.

“They are talking nonsense. Yes, you have to use a lesser current for children under eight years old but there are machines available out there where you simply flick a switch to go from paediatric to adult mode and that is what we would have got for them.

“Hospital maternity units have defibrillators for newborn infants but if they listened to Worcestershire County Council they are going against health and safety advice. They don’t know what they are talking about and it is ridiculous.”

Clive Werrett, Worcestershire County Council’s corporate health and safety manager, said they had yet to establish a position on defibrillators.

“There are a number of criteria involved in deciding whether a defibrillator is suitable for a facility. In terms of first schools for example it needs to be remembered most defibrillators are for adult use and are not suitable for young children.

“There is emerging opinion in the USA supporting the use of defibrillators for children though the equipment requires special software and a lower power level than for adults.” He added if fund-raisers could source the appropriate equipment then it was the school’s decision whether or not to accept and maintain them.

SADS kills 270 children each year yet most could be saved by a machine costing less than £1,000
THE Underwoods are also campaigning for first aid to be added to the National Curriculum and they are starting a free first aid course which will be available to everyone in Redditch. “It will show basic first aid as well as how to do CPR and use a defibrillator for anyone who wants to turn up to it.”It will take just one day but we want to get people to think that it could be their friend lying there needing help, or themselves that need someone to know what to do in the event of an emergency.”Four days after Charlotte died her baby brother Mitchell Charlie was born. Not only does he carry Charlotte’s name but it was she who picked the name for the baby brother she knew was on the way.”If just one person survives as a result of this campaign following Charlotte’s death then, while nothing will ever replace our precious girl, in some way her death will have had some meaning.”

• For more information go to where you can sign the “Schools must have defibrillators petition” at the bottom of the home page


Join the Redditch Heart Safe Facebook page here to get the latest news on the campaign.