Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish Council have resolved to set up a fund raising Just Giving page to raise funds to purchase a community Defibrillator.
Parishioner John Rogers has put together the following article which will also be available in the coming WaRbler:
Semi-automatic defibrillators are there to help ordinary people help save the life of someone who has just suffered a heart attack. The Ambulance service recommend that a defibrillator should be used within 4-5 minutes of a heart attack with the chance of making a full recovery reducing by 10% for each minute after that. Unfortunately, the target time for an ambulance to respond to an emergency is 8 minutes. Which is where these public defibrillators come in. If they are used together with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (or CPR for short) they can help people stay alive until professional help arrives.
Clearly defibrillators are a good idea but how would one work in our village?
The key question is could the defibrillator be brought to the casualty in less time than the ambulance will take. The nearest publicly accessible defibrillators are at Wyatt House care home in Mathews way (6 minutes round drive from St Pauls church) and Randwick village hall (12 minutes round drive from St Pauls church) so it is not possible to retrieve one of these within the 4 minute target. In 4 minutes running at jogging pace you could fetch a defibrillator from a ¼ of a mile away. If you can get a car on the road in 1 minute you could fetch a defibrillator from ¾ of a mile (or a straight-line radius of 0.6 mile). A defibrillator located somewhere on the Main road would include a large proportion of the village within 0.6 miles access circle. The location has to be one which it is easy to give directions to, as the people helping the casualty may not be local.
This sounds like a good idea so why don’t the Parish Council buy one?
Well they can, and the cost would be added to your council tax. However, we could also raise the money by public subscription. The British Heart Foundation will provide a public access defibrillator for £600 in areas of high foot fall or rural areas providing that access is maintained 24 hours a day and where there is a commitment made to provide CPR training. The cost of housing the unit will have to be met by the community. This is about 50% of the market price. The significant feature of the BHF offer is the commitment to provide CPR training.
The Parish Council has run a trial training session last November which they have agreed to repeat. If we can raise a significant amount of the finance directly from the village it will show a commitment on the part of the village to the project which should help secure a grant.
However, the provision of a defibrillator is only part of the solution, we will also need more of us going on a suitable course. This is not as daunting as it sounds, the one ran in November had no gory videos, complicated jargon, embarrassing incidents, or exams but, it did include some sound advice and a chance to work with resuscitation dummies. Interestingly of the 2.5 hour course 2 hours was spent on CPR and 30 minutes of defibrillators, they really are that simple and it’s more like following sat nav instructions than an episode of Casualty.
Where do we go from here?
The total installation cost would be around £1000 or about one Costa Coffee a household. So, we are starting by a straight forward appeal, please can you donate £5 or more using the “just giving website” https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/whiteshillandruscombepc
If we do not reach the target we may need to do some additional fundraising. If you would like to get involved with this please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any additional funds raised could be go towards a defibrillator for the far end of Ruscombe if there are sufficient funds available.
If you would like more background information on defibrillators you may find the following web links useful:
South West Ambulance Service https://www.swast.nhs.uk/What%20We%20Do/defibrillators.htm
Thank you for reading this article and please consider giving a donation so that together we can help save lives in our village.