The campaign for more publicly accessible AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators), championed by Andrew and local councillors, has taken a step forward. A site for the publicly accessible defibrillator in Airmyn, which Andrew and local Councillors, John Barrett and Caroline Fox, raised money for, has now been found. Airmyn residents dug deep into their pockets and provided over £1000 for the defibrillator which will be placed on the exterior of the Old Vicarage on High Street, Airmyn. Twin Rivers Parish Council also recently agreed to fund the cost of a defibrillator, after Andrew secured an agreement from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, to provide the external casing.
The campaign received a further boost this week when the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, who Andrew has been working with to increase defibrillator access, informed Andrew that they now plan to provide a fully funded defibrillator for Rawcliffe Bridge. This is one of fifty defibrillators across the county the Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be funding in particular hot spot locations. Andrew is now working with the Parish Council to identify a location.
Publicly accessible defibrillators are logged by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service who issue the code for access when somebody near one has a cardiac arrest. Clinical studies show that CPR and early defibrillation within 5 minutes of the event massively increases the chance of survival. For every minute this doesn't take place after a cardiac arrest, the patient's chance of survival drops by about 23%. The machines are easy to use, they contain voice commands and require no training to use. They also do not allow a patient to be shocked unless needed.
Andrew says, "It is great news that in such a short space of time we already have three public access defibrillators agreed for our area. When we went door to door in Airmyn to raise money for the defibrillator we were overwhelmed by the support. In fact, there is money left over which we have said we will donate to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and to the Howden defibrillator fund, who are also having to raise the funds for the external casing which doubles the cost.
"Defibrillators save lives which is why I am championing a massive expansion of publicly accessible AEDs. I've used them on a number of occasions and they are simple to use. In Parliament, I have been championing them being placed in schools as 270 children die in schools every year from sudden cardiac arrests. I also want doctors surgeries and other organisations that have defibs on-site, to consider making them publicly accessible 24/7."
Cllr Caroline Fox adds, "We are delighted that we now have a location agreed for Airmyn and thank the Old Vicarage care home for agreeing to host it. We'd also like to thank residents in Airmyn and the Twin Rivers Parish Council for being so supportive of this campaign. We'd also like to thank Yorkshire Ambulance Service for all their work and support for these projects. The devices are now on order and we hope to have them in place soon."
Cllr John Barrett continues, "In a cardiac arrest, time is the most precious aspect meaning that, even if an ambulance can't get there within 5 minutes, quick thinking bystanders can make the difference. Pretty much anyone can perform CPR and use a defibrillator and that is what can make the difference between life and death."