Reporters at the Croydon Guardian had a free lesson in lifesaving last week.

London Ambulance Service community resuscitation training officer Sam Wilcox visited our offices to teach staff basic CPR and showed them how to use a defibrillator, a machine that restarts someone’s heart by giving an electric shock.

There are more than 800 defibrillators in public places, such as train stations and shopping centres, in London, but there are only 24 public-access defibrillators in Croydon.

Miss Wilcox, who previously worked as a paramedic team leader at Croydon ambulance station, said: “It’s really easy to learn how to save a life and it can make all the difference to someone’s chances of survival if they collapse and stop breathing.

“Everyone should feel confident to use a defibrillator as they are safer and easier to use than a fire extinguisher.

“If there were as many defibrillators around as fire extinguishers, we would see a lot more people surviving cardiac arrest.”

Organisations in Croydon can benefit from free heart start sessions, funded by the British Heart Foundation, during which they can learn basic life support.

Call 020 7783 2534 or email resustraining@londonambulan