Hi Joe, how did you get involved with this?
As a member of the PPP, I have attended a couple of online talks and demonstrations of how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use defibrillators. This made me take more interest in the provision of them within my local area. Having located a couple of them in my village, I felt an additional one was needed as when somebody is having a cardiac arrest, every second and every minute that passes is vital in saving their life. I located a great spot halfway along the main road running through our village which happened to be at a local pub.
What steps did you take?
I approached the pub’s landlady, who turned out to be very keen to have one on-site. With it being a pub chain, she set up a meeting with the local area manager who told me that, as a policy, they were hoping to install these devices in all of their pubs. They were also keen to get involved with this one and offered to help sponsor a dinner at the pub with contributions towards the cost of the food and other little things which we could use to raffle to raise money. As a result of this and an additional musical evening, we raised almost £2000 for the defibrillator.
It was at this point that our local council got involved. Unbeknown to us, our parish council already had a plan to ensure that there were enough defibrillators within our boundaries to cover all residents. They had heard about our efforts and wanted to be involved. It turns out that they already had seven devices installed and felt that 11 would be the ideal number for the village. They offered to pay for the device we were raising money for if we paid for the installation and ancillary work needed to set it up.
The partnership really worked as it gave them the opportunity to standardise the make and model of the defibrillators they bought for the village, ensuring they all worked in the same way and the same spares fitted all the devices.
How has being a PPP volunteer helped you with this project?
I have been able to establish great relationships with the trust’s Community Resuscitation Team to check that all our defibrillators are registered and functioning. I am also arranging to set up periodic training sessions in the village hall to help people get comfortable with using a defibrillator strengthening our chain of survival but knowing I have the team’s support is great.
What are your next steps?
I am going to continue to raise awareness about defibrillators and help with more fundraising for the life-saving equipment. The council have recently approved the purchase of a further two devices and I will be assisting them with raising the additional funds for the ancillary costs after the devices arrive.
We will then only be one defibrillator short of being fully covered in our local area.
I have been surprised and impressed by how the council, the brewery and other local people have been keen to get involved in this project and would urge anyone who wants to ensure they have enough defibrillators in their area to give it a go – it could save a life.