Local charity brings public-accessible heart-starting machine to West Runton
Sheringham-based charity Shocking Now! secured National Lottery Funding to launch the first publicly-accessible defibrillator (heart-starting machine) today in West Runton, Norfolk. Their programme, with on-going support from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS), enables members of the public to use this life-saving technology themselves thereby improving the survival rate of people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest by up to 74%.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the UK; 76,000 people die each year from it, yet with simple heart massage and prompt defibrillator use, many could survive.
West Runtons defibrillator is housed in a purpose built, key code-secured box outside the Spar Post Office in Cromer Road and is accessed at any time by calling 999. Robin Sizeland, who runs the shop was pleased to be hosting the defibrillator: Shocking Now! has provided us with this amazing piece of equipment and trained around 20 villagers to save a life with it. In return we have so far managed to raise over £600 to support them and thanks to Norwich Electrical Company Ltd the installation of the machine was carried out free of charge.
David Draper, Chairman of Shocking Now! stressed how easy the defibrillator was to use: Once you lift the lid, a voice tells you exactly what to do, but its life-saving shock must be delivered within a matter of minutes to be effective. I hope our installation encourages other rural communities in Norfolk to consider getting their own defibrillator to use whilst the ambulance is on its way.
EEAS Community Partnership Manager, Andrew Barlow, added: Guidance from the UK Resuscitation Council confirms that defibrillators can be used safely and effectively even without training. We are delighted to be able to work with Shocking Now! to have community public access defibrillators in more rural areas where there is a need.
The Big Lottery Fund distributes half of the National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.
If you would like to support the Shocking Now! campaign to put defibrillators into villages, details can be found on their web site at: www.shockingnow.org or cheques payable to Shocking Now! can be sent to Robin Sizeland, Spar Post Office, West Runton, NR27 9AD.