NFU members back plans to save lives on farm using the latest kit and improved first aid

26 January 2024

David Brookes next to his cows

Midlands farmers have seen plans to improve first aid on British farms backed by the NFU following calls to encourage the use of on-farm defibrillator kits.

Farmer David Brookes, of Lower Loxley, near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, has urged the NFU, rural insurer NFU Mutual and others to support the idea after he put it to the NFU Midlands Regional board.

The board is made up of farmers from across all 12 regional counties.

He then put the idea to NFU Council at its quarterly meeting in January and the resolution was unanimously agreed.

Every second counts

Mr Brookes said that given the average farmer’s age was 59, and more and more livestock marts and rural venues had brought defibrillator kits in, he thought it would make sense to see more provision on-farm as every second counted when it came to a cardiac arrest.

The dairy farmer, who is Staffordshire NFU Council delegate, said he had drawn inspiration from an article in the national news about medical staff using a defibrillator to save the life of Premiership footballer Tom Lockyer.

The Luton Town FC captain suffered a cardiac arrest in December when playing a Premier League game against Bournemouth.

“I read the article and just thought we needed to do more to look after ourselves, family and our workers on farm,” Mr Brookes said.

David Brookes with a defibrillator

We have got an ageing workforce in farming and we should be talking about this and calling for improvements.”

NFU member and dairy farmer David Brookes

“I would urge farmers to ensure they have first aid stations that are well equipped and accessible and if possible to get a defibrillator.

“We have got an ageing workforce in farming and we should be talking about this and calling for improvements.

“Many rural pubs and village halls have defibrillators in place, which is great, but sometimes they are still some distance from isolated farms if a farmer or worker has a medical emergency.

“In rural areas it can also be hard for emergency services to get to a call quickly, so every second counts.”

NFU Midlands regional board members said that regardless of what kit was on farm already, if there was a medical emergency people should always call the emergency services.

They also suggested that farmers and their workers should ensure they had adequate first aid knowledge and if a defibrillator was installed that people in the business were trained in its use.

The NFU and other industry organisations continue to champion farm health and safety and members can save 10% on a fully automatic Public Access Defibrillator, including battery and pads

Find out how to claim the 10% discount.

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