ASHBOURNE’S fourth defibrillator has gone live, leaving just one more machine still to be sited.
The lifesaving piece of kit has been installed on the wall outside Ashbourne Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic in Waterside Park.
Councillor Ann Smith, who originally had the idea to get public access defibrillators in town, said: “This campaign has had a fantastic response from Ashbourne people. All I did was have the idea, but people here have been amazing in their support and fundraising efforts.
“The machine here in Waterside Park is also a public access machine, so even though it’s on the wall of the physiotherapy centre anyone can use it - and they will get the security code to unlock the case when they call 999.
“We are very grateful to Lorna and Chris Short from the clinic for allowing us to use their building for the box.”
Public access defibrillators are now located in four key areas of town - Preston’s Garage in Derby Hill, David Neill in Compton, The Ex-servicemen’s club in Market Place and now in the Waterside Park.
A further machine will be installed later this year somewhere close to the recreation ground.
Anne said: “I really need to say a big thanks to everyone, the level of enthusiasm for the project has been immense, but a special thank-you goes to Glen Handley, Paul Lomas and Michael Potter who have donated their time and materials to install the machines and get them live.”
A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest. No training is needed to be able to use the machine as an automated voice gives a step by step guide once the machine is switched on.
Ann said: “We will be running a series of free training events later this year, to give people essential first aid skills as well as show them how to use defibrillators, but it’s worth reminding everyone that they don’t need to be trained to be able to save a life with these machines.”
British Heart Foundation figures show that 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the UK every year.
When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%.
Ashbourne’s machines are all kept in locked security boxes, and when a 999 call for cardiac arrest is received by East Midlands Ambulance Service the operator will give the caller the access code, to allow the kit to be removed.