Life Savers: The importance of Defibrillators and CPR

Today’s guest blog is from Simon Brooks from

Late last year, city councillors had the opportunity to learn CPR and had evidence first hand from an air ambulance doctor on the importance of :

  • The availability of more public defibrillators in our communities
  • A greater knowledge of how to use them alongside bystander CPR

Additionally, councillors heard from Louise Polledri, whose 24 year old son died after going into Cardiac Arrest in Millennium Square. He may have survived had a defibrillator been available.

Bristol City Council unanimously passed a motion to Make Bristol a CPR friendly city.

If there’s anything I’ve learnt from the 25 public defibrillators I’ve installed across Bristol, it’s that it’s us, the public, who can make the biggest difference to someone surviving a cardiac arrest. I am working on my own project and with the Air Ambulance to install CPADS (Community Public Access Defibrillators). They are fail-safe devices and tell the user exactly what to do.

We all need to learn how to perform CPR — a basic, lifesaving skill — and have the confidence to utilise it alongside an AED (Automated Exterior Defibrillator) when needed. That’s why I’m also campaigning to make it a condition that taxi driver licences can only be obtained if the taxi driver learns CPR; it will ensure we have a mobile fleet of lifesavers around our city. It’s also why I volunteer with the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) and their Heartstarters project teaching CPR in schools.

Sam Polledri’s death had a devastating impact on his parents and family. And on the thousands of others who live with the knowledge that things could, and should, have been different for their loved ones. Nor can words bring them back. But they can help stop the heartbreak from happening to other families.

My website gives an insight into the project. I am happy to work with anyone in the city to help get as many CPADs out there as possible so Bristol has a proper network. If you know how to perform bystander CPR or you’re a medical professional and want to help GWAAC teach our community this skill, find out how you can help on their website.