Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Life Support Logo

Each year Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attend over 350 cases of sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest - this is roughly 1 out of every 3 missions the service responds to. A cardiac arrest is a time critical emergency when a person’s heart suddenly stops beating causing them to become unresponsive and their breathing to be abnormal or stopped. Without quick action from the people around them, a person experiencing a cardiac arrest will die. However, a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest can be significantly improved if they receive immediate care from a bystander whilst an ambulance and air ambulance critical care team respond to the scene. 

DSAA’s Life Support program helps people become prepared for the unthinkable by delivering life support awareness sessions to communities in Dorset and Somerset. Our data shows that 3 in 4 people experiencing a cardiac arrest collapse at home, often witnessed by friends and family members. By becoming a Life Supporter you will learn lifesaving skills such as how to perform CPR and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to help save a life. You can also find your nearest defibrillator and learn CPR online in around 10 minutes by following the links below.


Remember DRS ABC

When an emergency occurs remember DRS ABC.

  1. Danger
    Ensure the area is safe for you and others
  2. Response
    Gently squeeze the person’s shoulders and speak loudly for a response
  3. Shout for Help
    Dial 999 for an ambulance. Put the phone on loudspeaker and follow the advice from the call handler. Use What3Words to help us find you in a rural or remote location.
  4. Airway
    Remove any visible obstructions and open by tilting the head and lifting the jaw.
  5. Breathing
    Look, listen and feel for normal breathing. If breathing isn’t normal begin CPR.
  6. CPR
    Start chest compressions and fetch the nearest defibrillator


Learn CPR

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation; this is when someone provides chest compressions to a person in cardiac arrest to help keep blood pumping around the body. Without CPR a person experiencing a cardiac arrest will die within minutes. You can learn CPR for free at a Life Supporters community awareness session or in just 10 minutes by clicking on the link below.

Resuscitation Council (UK) Lifesaver


Find Your Nearest Defibrillator

An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) is a device which delivers a shock to a patient experiencing a cardiac arrest. The purpose of this shock is to stop any abnormal heart rhythms and to allow the heart to beat again normally. Anyone can use a defibrillator without any training. Once you have the device next to the patients turn it one and follow the instructions spoken by the machine. Don’t worry, the 999 call handler will be with you every step of the way. You can find the nearest AED to your home or workplace using the link below

Defibfinder UK


Support our vital service and donate today

If you would like to help us to continue saving lives, we would be grateful to receive your donation. No matter how big or small, every penny donated really will make a big difference!

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