Engineers and staff with a CPR dummy beside HomeServe van

Good neighbour engineer inspires company wide life support skills roll out

Posted 15 December 2015 4:40 PM by John Greaves

A lifesaving HomeServe engineer has inspired a company-wide roll out of basic life support skills for its directly employed engineers – more than 440 nationwide.

HomeServe engineer and former volunteer lifeguard Mike Harrison (32), who lives in Leicestershire, put his previous life saving training to good use earlier this year when he saved a 95-year-old lady’s life whilst on a simple, routine repair call.

As Mike said; “It’s only what a good neighbour would’ve done.”

Mike’s story inspired a company-wide drive to develop a comprehensive programme of “Heart Start” training for all HomeServe employed engineers – fully funded by the company and believed to be a national first for the home assistance industry.

HomeServe worked with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to develop a basic life support skills programme. Every uniformed engineer in the company has now received the BHF-accredited training programme, which focuses on a range of life support skills including CPR, dealing with unconscious, choking or bleeding people and identifying the symptoms of cardiac arrest or stroke.

The British Heart Foundation has subsequently donated six CPR dolls for HomeServe staff to use as part of their training.

Martin Bennett, CEO, HomeServe Membership, said; “Our engineers are in their communities 24-7, 365 days a year and for many Customers, they are like neighbours. 

“Mike’s story inspired us to provide our engineers with basic life saving skills that we hope they never have to use, but can be called upon within their local community. Thanks to the support of the British Heart Foundation we have been able to make this training programme part of our business going forward.”

The British Heart Foundation is the nation’s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research. 

Since launching the nationwide training, a HomeServe’s engineer was able to recognise heart attack symptoms affecting another Customer and offered emergency life support to them.

“We’re in and around communities right across the country every single day; our engineers meet many people and support vulnerable and older people too”, added Bennett. “We hope these are skills they never have to use again, however, this is something inspired by our engineers and driven by them, so if the training helps just one person, then it’s been the right investment for our company.”

As well introducing the training into a wider induction for all newly recruited engineers, HomeServe is also now extending the training to its Walsall-based head office support teams as part of its ongoing community initiatives. 

Pictured: Mike Harrison, the HomeServe engineer who inspired the programme, is pictured with Alex Down, HomeServe’s Safety Officer, Central region, who helps deliver the training and engineer Nathan Moore using the CPR dolls provided by the BHF.