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First public access defibrillators installed in Frome

The first defibrillator installation at The Mount Community  Association Centre: l-r, Mark Alden MCA Chairman, Des Harris head gardener,  Gemma Jefferies secretary, local PCSO Shelley Day

The first defibrillator installation at The Mount Community
Association Centre: l-r, Mark Alden MCA Chairman, Des Harris head gardener, Gemma Jefferies secretary, local PCSO Shelley Day

The first batch of ‘public access’ defibrillators (AED) have been installed and are now available for emergency use, 24/7, for the people Frome. 

An AED is a simple to use, portable piece of electronic apparatus which can be used to resuscitate the heartbeat in a life-threatening cardiac arrest situation.

The first of the units have now been commissioned at The Key Centre, Cheese and Grain and Memorial Theatre. The initiative headed by the Friends of the Hospital, will soon see up to 14 units placed widespread at strategic locations around the town over the coming weeks.

Friends of Frome Hospital defibrillator project leader, Derek Trick said, “As far as we are aware Frome is the first town in the country to roll-out such a comprehensive network of defibrillators for public use. This cross-community initiative is being supported by the town council, local businesses and the various service clubs.

“Each AED unit is housed in a temperature-controlled cabinet with access controlled by the 999 emergency services. In an emergency the caller will be directed to their nearest AED unit and given a three digit code to release the ready-charged, ready to use defibrillator.

Once the unit is with the patient, the user-friendly Heartsine Samaritan defibrillator will have easy-to-understand visual instructions and voice prompts, along with CPR chest pumping advice to administer until paramedics arrive on the scene. The defibrillator cannot be used incorrectly as it will only deliver a shock to the patient only if it detects it is necessary.

“Once most of the AED’s are installed it is the intention of the ‘Friends’ to organise public awareness meetings, in conjunction with the South West Ambulance Service and the Arrhythmia Alliance Charity (AAC) to ensure the people have an appreciation of the defibrillator community project.  Keep in mind, a cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, of any age, anywhere and at anytime.”

The funding of the Community Defibrillator Project is being undertaken by the Friends of Frome Hospital as part of their community outreach programme, with the other stakeholders undertaking retrospective fundraising campaigns to re-coup the outlay, and to underwrite future AED installations in the local villages and the on-going maintenance costs.

Donations to Friends of the Hospital, Defibrillator Appeal, can be made at the reception of the Frome Community Hospital, Enos Way, Frome (BA11 2FH).

 

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