Parish Hall Defibrillator

South Hill Parish now has its own Defibrillator.

This has been purchased using Parish Council funds after the public meeting held last year.  To complete the project we have had the unit installed near the entrance to the SOUTH HILL PARISH HALL in Golberdon, which after consideration and taking into account the activities within the community and the playing fields location was considered the best possible site to install a unit.

The unit is kept in a secure case on the wall, and in the event of emergency can be accessed by any member of the public, it has a coded entry number which on dialing 999 the emergency operator will ask your location which is clearly stated on a sign next to the unit.  Also included is the postcode and ordnance survey location to ensure the correct code is given to the person calling as in an emergency the stress of an incident can sometimes cloud decisions and we wanted to keep this as a very easy to access/use unit.

Once you have access the unit is in a  holdall bag.  On opening the bag there is a simple on off button: the unit switches on and because the Parish Council was continuous of a need for ease of use the unit actually instructs you the user on what to do, in a quick easy step by step voice.  The unit when placed on a patient will run its own very fast check to ensure the patient is in cardiac arrest and will only work in that situation to avoid complicating the emergency if cardiac arrest is not the problem.

Do also bear in mind that you will have the 999 operator with you on the phone who is a trained paramedic to support and talk you through the situation, whilst alerting emergency services who will be speeding to your location to take over from you.

The Parish Council has also registered the unit with the South West Ambulance Service Trust with whom South Hill (the community) is now on a verification certification scheme.  In basic terms, the Parish Council has had meetings with SWAST and entered onto a registration scheme
that gives South Hill accreditation for the Lifepak Plus and shows we as a community have stepped up to the requirements of the scheme and are fully compliant.

We even appear within the Air Ambulance listings who can direct services to the unit, as having a unit in our parish.

Luckily we as a parish are low on the emergency services history of emergency calls to all three services, however, by ensuring this unit is within reach of the main section of the community we considered it to be an insurance policy we hope none of us ever have to use.

When a person suffers a cardiac arrest , the heart stops , blood no longer being pumped around their body and they are at that point clinically dead.  The longer they go on without emergency life support the harder it becomes to restart the heart.  Time is so important and CPR should be used immediately.   The survival rate in the south west has been steadily increasing, but we are way off the 50/50 rates which many other countries experience – this is purely an equipment /time issue.  I can from experience tell you that paramedics took 22 minutes to respond to my own call in Trevigro when I found my wife collapsed.  Luckily I knew CPR and we had a good outcome to a very bad event.  The stress/ panic is off the scale and as the ambulance service resuscitated over 3600 in the south west last year alone defibrillators in public places massively increase the chance of survival.

I would recommend everyone reading this and anyone you know to learn basic life savings skills.  Who knows, I might need your help and it will improve your confidence in any emergency presented to you.

Please tell everyone about the new Lifepak Plus in your community we all need to know it’s there and has the potential to give someone life.

Jim Gale, Parish Councillor