More than 1,000 people have now been trained on how to administer CPR and use a defibrillator thanks to the efforts of a local charity.
Heartstart Thatcham surpassed the milestone at a training session last week, less than four years after it first started to carry them out.
The most recent session was at St George’s Church in Newbury, where 17 people were trained with the aim of removing the fear of ever having to perform life-saving actions.
David Hamer, paramedic and scheme director for Heartstart Thatcham, said: “This is an amazing milestone for the team to reach.
“Over the last few years Nick (Young) and the team have worked tirelessly to train members of the public in basic life support and install defibrillators across the West Berkshire region.
“I’m extremely grateful for the hard work these volunteers have put in and hope the skills they teach may at some point save a life.”
Heartstart Thatcham held its first public training session in August 2013. It has also been installing defibrillators across the region, and unveild its latest one during the session at St George’s Church.
Funding for the new defibrillator came from the church and from Karen West, who completed the London Marathon earlier this year to help bring in extra funds.
She said: “I saw a defibrillator used in real life and I know that they save lives.
“So when I managed to get a ballot place for the London Marathon I knew about Heartstart Thatcham and the defibrillators they are installing in the local area, and I wanted to help raise money for a fantastic cause.”
Dozens of the devices have now been placed across West Berkshire, and there are plans for yet more to be installed.
Scheme co-ordinator Dr Nick Young said: “Firstly, ignore the ‘Thatcham’ in our name as we seem to cover a lot of West Berkshire and beyond.
“But also keep in mind that the team are 100 per cent volunteers. I have a dedicated, hard working and enthusiastic team that make Heartstart Thatcham the success it has become today.”
For more information or to book a course, go to heartstartthatcham.info or phone 07810 145690.