Villagers fund heart attack lifelines

Herald Series: Left to right, Fiona Mantle, Vivien Haywood, Kathy Young, manager Village Centre, Pat Haywood, chair Parish Council, Alan Mawby, chair Village Centre, Elizabeth Schwarz Left to right, Fiona Mantle, Vivien Haywood, Kathy Young, manager Village Centre, Pat Haywood, chair Parish Council, Alan Mawby, chair Village Centre, Elizabeth Schwarz

VILLAGERS have raised £8,000 to buy four life-saving defibrillators for residents to come to the aid of heart attack victims.

The £2,000 devices deliver electric pulses to the heart and kick-start the organ when it is in cardiac arrest. Chinnor residents have raised the cash and more than 200 have also been trained in CPR to give life-saving help.

One device has gone on The Village Centre, High Street and others will go at the Co-op, Oakley Road and Whites Field pavilion. Permission is being sought from Oxfordshire County Council for another to go at Chinnor Library, Station Road. Chinnor Parish Council member Fiona Mantle said this would be “ideally placed for the sports field and the community swimming pool”.

Users do not need special training as instructions are included with the devices.

Mrs Mantle said residents and village groups “leapt at the chance” after it was suggested by South Central Ambulance Service.

Donations and fundraising came from the council, Chinnor Beer Festival, Chinnor Youth Football Club and Football Association and business group Chinnor Buzz. Fundraising was also held by community first responders, residents who volunteer their time to be first on the scene of medical emergencies to offer life-saving treatment until a paramedic arrives.

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A grant from the county council’s communities fund and some private donations added to the cash. Parish council chairman Pat Haywood said: “This initiative is a reflection of the terrific community spirit, bringing together lots of different groups towards a common goal and everyone involved should be congratulated.”

Ambulance service responder department manager Dick Tracey said: “The brilliant work of the residents of Chinnor, led by Fiona Mantle, has been outstanding and will undoubtedly lead to more lives being saved. We hope other villagers will now follow their lead.”

The devices are among more than 150 across Oxfordshire. Prompt defibrillation raises the chance of survival by up to 75 per cent. Without it, this sinks to just four per cent. There are about 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year. The most common cause is a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. This occurs when the electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or “fibrillates” instead.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10 per cent. The ambulance service provides an app for mobile phones and tablets showing the location of all devices. To download it visit the Apple iTunes Store and search AED Locator UK.

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