A short film highlighting the importance of bystander CPR and the use of public access defibrillators has been produced by Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Community First Responder, (CFR), team.

The volunteer team is one of close to 60 teams which is trained by and works with South East Coast Ambulance Service, with responders attending certain emergencies and providing vital, often life-saving care to patients.

The awareness film was produced in partnership with local video production company, Digitom, based in Tunbridge Wells, after the CFR team successfully applied to be the company’s Charity of the Year – part of which includes benefitting from a free video production package to promote their cause.

The film sees a reconstruction where a man collapses in a shopping centre and requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation, (CPR), and a shock from a public access defibrillator to save his life.

The film concludes with a twist, when it’s revealed its narrator is 27-year-old cardiac-arrest survivor and local Maidstone resident Frankie Turner.

Frankie’s life was saved by the quick-thinking of husband, Nathan, who commenced CPR and the attending ambulance clinicians.

Frankie and husband, Nathan, reunited with the SECAmb team

Data shows that sadly fewer than 10 per cent of patients survive to 30 days after experiencing an out-of-hospital arrest.

Prompt bystander CPR and early defibrillation is key to increasing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates.

Tonbridge and Tonbridge Wells CFR Team Leader, Fergus Chalmers, features in the film. He is passionate about increasing awareness of the importance of bystander CPR and breaking down anxiousness around using a public defibrillator.

Fergus said: “We were delighted to be selected as Digitom’s Charity of the Year and be given the opportunity to work with them to create this awareness film of what people should do should they discover someone in cardiac arrest.

“As a team we teach many members of the public how to save a life and it is a skill everyone should possess and we hope this film helps others learn and have the confidence to act.

“In the event of someone not breathing, it is vital that chest compressions are commenced as quickly as possible, someone calls 999 and, if directed to do so, collects a defibrillator and follows the instructions of the 999 call operator and the machine itself.

“Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are a community issue, and anyone could be called upon in their lives to play a key role in an attempt to save a person’s life.”

Frankie added: "It was an honour to be involved in this awareness video, the message is so important and something I have become passionate about in the last year following my cardiac arrest. You genuinely never know when you'll need to perform CPR, and this video is great for helping people understand how straight forward and vital CPR and the use of a public defibrillator is.

“The current survival rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are shocking, I hope this video gives people the confidence to help should they ever be faced with a similar situation."

To watch the follow this link: https://youtu.be/oywaqEXre4c