Dame Harriett Baldwin MP has called on community volunteers to support a rural emergency response scheme.

The West Worcestershire MP met with community representatives HeartStart Malvern and the West Midlands Ambulance Service to establish a plan to raise the number of people providing first response in the event of a medical emergency.

Dame Harriett has previously supported HeartStart's initiative, which helps source defibrillators in the town and provides cardiac response training.


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This came in response to concerns expressed by people living in rural areas around Eldersfield in the Longdon district.

Many community members fear that they live too far from a community defibrillator to receive quick, life-saving treatment when required.

With Dame Harriett's assistance, Malvern Hills District Councilor Jennie Watkins initiated a dialogue with HeartStart Malvern and the Ambulance Trust to devise a plan to the escalating rural concerns.

To improve defibrillator availability, Cliff Medlicott, a representative from WMAS, pledged to donate a defibrillator to Eldersfield Parish Council.

In addition, he has committed to working in partnership with councillors to encourage volunteers and devise a community action scheme across rural Worcestershire and neighboring Gloucestershire villages.

Dame Harriett said: "I was contacted by Councillor Jennie Watkins, on behalf of a number of rural parish councils who shared local concerns about the sparse coverage of defibrillators and a lapsed network to offer emergency support.

“I am grateful that Eldersfield Parish Council raised this matter with me and will support Jennie as she works with other local parishes to extend this initiative.

"I hope that as we spread the word, local people will want to get involved, get trained and be ready to offer help when it is needed most."

Councillor Watkins added: "We now have the opportunity to work closely with partners to improve on coverage and create community solutions.

"We hope to set up a scheme across our six parishes and I will be lobbying Malvern Hills District Council to help fund and support an expansion across the district to ensure all residents can get access to a defibrillator if needed."