Paramedics at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) are reminding people who have purchased life-saving Defibrillators for their school, work or business to register them with the service so they show up on the 999 emergency systems.
Three defibrillators have recently been installed after a Kindergarten and a Solicitors firm in Gillingham, Dorset raised money for the life-saving machines to be installed.
Parents of the children from Topsie Rabbit Kindergarten helped to raise the money for the defibrillators when a child there had a medical problem and together with a local Solicitors firm, Farnfields, held golf days and monthly dress down days to gather the funds.
The first training session on how to use the defibrillators and carry out CPR was held at Wyke School recently by Kate Fisher of the South Western Ambulance Service, and there will be a further two training sessions held over the next few weeks. Kate Fisher, Assistant Community Responder Officer (Dorset), said “Every minute counts when a patient is in cardiac arrest, so it’s really important people learn how to deliver basic life support and how to use a defibrillator. Cardiac arrest does not discriminate against age, gender or levels of fitness and can happen very suddenly. You don’t need training to operate a defibrillator, as it talks you through how to use it. By listening to the instructions and performing CPR you are three times more likely to save a life, than if you do CPR alone.”
If you have an AED please ensure it is registered with South Western Ambulance Service via the website http://www.swast.nhs.uk .
Sarah Snook, Manager of Topsie Rabbit Kindergarten said, “We started fundraising for a defibrillator late in September 2017. This was prompted by a child being diagnosed with medical problems, who may need to use one in the future. We started a Facebook post and involved all our families by newsletters. We wanted this to be available for public use too and not shut inside Topsie Rabbit, when we were closed. Before we knew it, we had received many donations from businesses and individuals. Farnfields Solicitors then contacted us and we met earlier this year. It made sense to join together and Farnfields already had a good financial agreement with South Western Ambulance Service Trust. The fundraising really took off and we raised enough to buy 3 defibrillators for public use, which are now installed. I am very proud of our achievement thanks to the wonderful families, the local community and Farnfields.”
Fiona Thomas, Managing Partner of Farnfields added, “We have been raising money over the last 18 months to install defibrillators in the areas where Farnfields has offices. Due to a couple of successful charity golf days, generous donations by individuals and staff monthly dress down days, we have now raised enough money to provide four defibrillators, including the one at The Square in Gillingham in partnership with Topsie Rabbit Kindergarten. We heard about Sarah’s fundraising appeal through Facebook and as we were doing something similar, it made sense to join forces to provide more than one defibrillator for Gillingham. Sarah has done a phenomenal job of pulling the community together to provide defibrillators in the town”
Farnfields is currently in discussions regarding the location of the three defibrillators for which the firm has raised money and they will be located in the Shaftesbury, Sturminster and Warminster areas.
The defibrillators are leased from the South Western Ambulance Service for a four year period, the lease can then be renewed after this period. It means that the defibrillators are housed in suitable outside cabinets, remain unlocked for instant access when needed and are regularly monitored by the Ambulance Service.
Pictured: Topsie Rabbit Kindergarten pupils pictured with the defibrillator which is located in The Square, Gillingham.