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A £13,000 investment to install defibrillators at each Baylis dealership has proved its worth, following a near-tragic incident at its MG showroom in Gloucester.

Robert Chamberlayne from Quedgeley, Gloucester, was visiting the Cole Avenue showrooms to look at new cars and was chatting with sales consultant Jack Williams when he suddenly collapsed.

Recognising the signs of a cardiac arrest, Robert’s wife, a qualified nurse, asked the staff to help her husband onto the floor and asked if there was a defibrillator available. While Robert was being made comfortable, Donna Williams headed for the on-site Automated External Defibrillator and put it into action without delay.

Training certainly paid off, as the rest of the Baylis staff did what was needed, and on arrival, the emergency services personnel were full of praise for how the situation was handled.

This was the first time that an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) had been used at Baylis. They were installed at each Baylis dealership in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire (and subsequently South Wales), at the company’s own expense in 2018. Awareness training for all staff was provided at the time, and the importance of defibrillators is now taught as part of the induction process for all new employees joining the business. The device itself also provides an automated voice giving clear instructions on its safe use.

An AED will only deliver a shock if it cannot detect a heartbeat and can therefore be used by anyone with minimal training. Their use can significantly increase the individual’s survival rate, particularly if applied in the first few minutes of an attack. Fast action with this kit can even lead to patient stabilisation before the arrival of the emergency services.

Baylis director Dave Jones said: "We wanted to make sure that, should the worst happen to an employee or a member of the public, we have the relevant equipment on hand that may save their life. At Baylis, we are always looking to improve health and safety and feel that nowadays a defibrillator is as fundamental as a first aid kit. If the technology is there to help to save a life, it has to be worth every penny invested.

“Following our recent experience, I would encourage all businesses to install defibrillators on their premises, and also to share with their neighbours that they are available for all to use. Their effectiveness and ability to keep someone alive cannot be overstressed. Our staff and customers are at the heart of everything we do. The defibrillator, with Donna’s expert help, saved his life - not just my words, that's what the Police and Ambulance staff told me.”

Mr Chamberlayne has now made a full recovery, and visited Baylis recently to thank the staff for their swift actions and calm, considered response to a life-threatening occurrence. He expressed how grateful he was, and said that he planned to speak to other companies in the Quedgeley area to emphasise the importance of defibrillators, and knowing where they were available.

For further information on the Baylis Group, see the website