LOCAL first aid volunteers recently bought a training defibrillator with the help of Melksham Area Board, in order to teach local people how to use the lifesaving devices.
Thanks to a grant of £1,000 from the area board, Melksham’s St John Ambulance now has a special device to teach people how to use public defibrillators, which are used when people have heart attacks while out and about.
Unit manager of St John Ambulance in Melksham, Andrew Freestone said, “This modern device means we can train local groups using up-to-date equipment and ensure more and more people know how to use these lifesaving machines.
“We’re very grateful for the area board’s grant – they paid for a big chunk of the money we needed and it meant we could buy the equipment much sooner.”
The defibrillators, which have already been installed in Melksham and the surrounding villages, are fully automatic and just have pads that need sticking to the patient’s torso. However, St John volunteers say it is important to familiarise people with them in case of an emergency.
Councillor Jonathon Seed, chair of Melksham Area Board said, “We were happy to donate the money. It’s really important that people know what to do with the defibrillators around the local area, and the more people who are trained, the safer the community is.
“It’s a good use of the area board’s money because it also makes our investment in the defibrillators themselves even more sustainable.”
Defibrillators use electrical shocks to restart people’s hearts if they are having a heart attack.
When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival falls by ten per cent every minute without first aid. But, with CPR and the use of a defibrillator within three minutes, their chance of survival could be as high as 70 per cent.