Sedgefield Village Games has presented a defibrillator to the community. Located in a box on the outside wall of Sedgefield Surgery, the device will be accessible in emergencies at all times.
Funding for the defibrillator has come from Sedgefield Village Games and from Sedgefield Rotary, Ladies Escape, Right Lines Communications, Sedgefield Squash Club, Sedgefield Harriers and Sedgefield Surgery. The project has been supported by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).
The initiative to provide a defibrillator for the Sedgefield community was inspired by the story of local resident Barry Watson, who suffered a major coronary while cycling in March 2013. A passer-by who witnessed his collapse and was trained in CPR gave Barry immediate first aid, before the North East Ambulance Service took over. He has since made an excellent recovery and is as keen a cyclist as ever.
Barry Watson was incredibly fortunate that a qualified first aider was very close at hand. The installation of the defibrillator in Sedgefield is the starting point of making the town more health resilient and will help build capacity for essential rapid response in the event of incidents of this type. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation reduces a patient’s chances of survival by 10%. The first few minutes are critical and immediate access to a defibrillator can be the difference between life and death. It is for this reason that the Sedgefield Village Games (SVG) undertook the project to secure one for the community.
Barry Watson comments: “When I collapsed, I was extremely lucky that someone who knew how to perform CPR was close at hand, particularly as there was no defibrillator nearby. It’s great that Sedgefield now has this device in such a prominent and central location – in an emergency, the defibrillator can be accessed with a quick 999 call and it’s easy to use.
It’s now vital that we make sure that as many people as possible in the community know about it. Its installation can also be a starting point to train more general first aiders in Sedgefield, which will be good news for everyone.”
Simon Hill, secretary of the Sedgefield Village Games, adds: “Anyone can access the defibrillator in an emergency by making a 999 call. The device is logged on a system and the code for the box will be given to whoever needs it. The defibrillator comes with audio instructions which are very easy to follow. So, at this stage, the key priority is to make sure as many people as possible know about its presence, in case it’s needed.
“However, what Sedgefield Village Games also wants to do, in partnership with the North East Ambulance Service and Sedgefield Surgery, is use its installation as a platform for improving general first aid skills in Sedgefield and train residents so that they already know how to use the defibrillator, in the event that they need to.”
Awareness and training events are currently being arranged, to take place towards the end of October and in November. Details will be publicised as soon as they are confirmed. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the defibrillator, and the Sedgefield Village Games campaign to raise awareness of its presence and improve first aid skills in Sedgefield, should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07971 868329.
Neil Bunney (Sedgefield Surgery), Ean Parsons (SVG), Barry Watson, Pete Fields
Pete Fields of NEAS explains how the defibrillator works to Ean Parsons
The Sedgefield Village Games committee organised the 3rd annual Fun & Games afternoon, held at Sedgefield Cricket Club on 21st September.
The event, which followed on from an earlier 10km race, organised by the Sedgefield Harriers, attracted many youngsters to come and play with the equipment that was laid out.
Music was provided by Bishop FM and once again we are grateful to 1st Sedgefield Scouts for putting on a BBQ, and the Cricket Club for liquid refreshments
The afternoon concluded with an ad-hoc game of rounders, enjoyed by parents and children alike