Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Life Support Logo

Each year, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance are tasked to over 500 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 absent or abnormal.

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.

Early CPR and early defibrillation can double a patient’s chances of survival, which is why we want members of our community to have the confidence and skills to deliver early life-saving interventions.


Jonathan belke in Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Cap

Jonathan’s Story - "Their knowledge proved crucial that day"

Jonathan Belke was on vacation with his wife in West Lulworth. They decided to walk up Durdle Door from where they were staying and made their way up the hill for a relaxing lunch at Lulworth Cove. Without warning, Jonathan suffered a cardiac arrest. He kindly shares his story and highlights the importance of learning CPR.

Read Jonathan’s story



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 that 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 patient turn it on 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


Community CPR and Defibrillator Awareness Training

Albert Goodman CPR training session

Our data shows that 3 in 4 people who experience a cardiac arrest collapse at home, often witnessed by friends and family members. By becoming a DSAA Life Supporter, you will learn life-saving skills such as how to perform CPR and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to help save a life.

DSAA Life Support CPR and Defibrillator Awareness Sessions are delivered by volunteers who are basic life support trained and provide the training to community groups and organisations across our two counties.

The sessions involve a demonstration of DRS-ABC, before participants are then given the opportunity to practice the recovery position, CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

Ensure the area is safe for you and others.

Gently squeeze the person’s shoulders and speak loudly for a response.

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.

Remove any visible obstructions and open by tilting the head and lifting the jaw.

Look, listen and feel for normal breathing. If breathing isn’t normal begin CPR.

Start chest compressions and fetch the nearest defibrillator.


Ready to help save lives?

If you are part of a community group or organisation in Dorset and Somerset and would like to register your interest for our CPR and Defibrillator Awareness Sessions, please contact our DSAA Life Support Team.

Register your interest



Donate to support our DSAA Life Support Programme

DSAA provides the financial and organisational support needed for running the programme – establishing connections with supporters in the community, as well as maintaining the equipment to deliver the practical sessions.

We are grateful for the generous support received from The Hobson Charity and The Grace Trust, who have funded the equipment for this project.

If you have attended one of our CPR and Defibrillator Awareness sessions or would like to support this project, we would be grateful for your donation.

Please select a donation amount (required)
Set up a regular payment Donate