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Ongoing success for the Guardians of community defibrillator scheme

The ‘Guardian Team’ for the Friends of Frome Hospital community defibrillator scheme met recently to reflect on the success of the scheme, after the first 24/7 publically available defibrillator (PAD) unit was installed four years ago, at the Key Centre on The Mount.

The team addressed a range of future challenges now that 23 units are widely located in and around the Frome area. The units, that are accessible via the 999 emergency services, have been called upon nine times so far, to assist with cardiac trauma situations in the town.

Each of the strategically placed PAD locations have been carefully selected, and have had to be negotiated with the owners at each site to allow for their access by the public 24 hours a day.             To ensure that the PAD can be guaranteed ‘operational’ to the 999 services, the units have to be checked every two weeks by the Guardian team who verify that both the cabinet key pad operates and importantly, the defibrillator is fully charged and ready for deployment if required.                          

Since the establishment of the volunteer team of Guardians from the Friends of Frome Hospital, they have achieved a 100% record to satisfy the emergency services ‘ready to go’ requirements.

Speaking on behalf of the Friends of Frome Hospital, defibrillator project leader, Derek Trick says, “It has taken a time to establish this loyal Guardian team. They are unsung heroes, ensuring these defibrillators are always up and ready whenever they are requested at a moment’s notice.                The 999 service will never direct anyone in an emergency to a cabinet if they are unsure if it is operational. To continue this high standard of fortnightly checking and maintenance, we are looking for another five volunteers to shadow and work with the current team, who normally manage four or five units each. This is to spread the workload and to cover if anyone is on holiday or is unwell.

It is imperative that the every 14-day check is maintained.

It’s not an onerous task, with each guardian patch taking only half an hour to cover. Interested? Contact us on friendsoffromehospital@gmail .com”

“The forthcoming cost challenges this coming year is to address new registration charges, and renewing a series of defibrillator batteries that are now coming to the end of their life cycle.            Any financial assistance in this quarter would always be welcome”

In other news, the Friends of Frome Hospital defibrillator team, hope to finance a final 25th  PAD unit to be installed in a current black spot at Selwood Academy, and another public CPR/Defibrillator Awareness Session has been scheduled for October. Details to be announced.


Pictured: The defibrillator Guardian team (at the Frome Medical Practice)

Left to right: Peter Smith Friends of Frome Hospital chairman, Arthur Jones Guardian, Shami Duffy team administrator, Max Lines Guardian, Derek Trick project leader, Mike Darville Guardian.

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