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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Life-saving machine to be installed in Brewood

21/06/2013

A life-saving machine that can be used to help resuscitate people who have suffered a heart attack is to be installed in Brewood.

"We are keen to equip Brewood residents with this vital kit - and the knowledge of how to use it - so they can take action should an emergency arise. I would urge anyone who is interested in learning these important medical skills to get in touch – it could mean the difference between life and death."

Brewood Watch Manager Paul Danby

The defibrillator will be positioned in the heart of the village, outside the bakery on Stafford Street from next month.

Brewood firefighters have funded the £1,200 emergency equipment and Brewood and Coven Parish Council will pay for it to be installed. The bakery will cover the cost of heating and lighting the box during the winter.

Volunteers from local shops and businesses along with members of the community are now being sought to take part in a free training course, funded and run by West Midlands Ambulance Service, on how to use the defibrillator.

There will be two 15-place sessions, on July 16 and July 24, from 6.30pm-9pm at Brewood Fire Station, Bargate Lane. People of any age can take part in the courses and will be awarded a certificate when they have successfully completed it.

The importance of taking immediate action when someone suffers a heart attack was highlighted in March 2012 when Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered an on-pitch cardiac arrest.

The England Under –21 international midfielder was described as being “in effect dead” for 78 minutes but survived the incident. Medics treated Muamba with a defibrillator, giving his heart controlled electrical shocks.

Brewood Watch Manager Paul Danby said: “Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest sent shock waves around the world and really brought it home to people that anyone can suffer a heart attack, no matter what their age or fitness level.

“However, it also showed that if someone is given immediate and effective medical treatment, they can survive. That is why we are keen to equip Brewood residents with this vital kit - and the knowledge of how to use it - so they can take action should an emergency arise. I would urge anyone who is interested in learning these important medical skills to get in touch – it could mean the difference between life and death.”

WMAS Paramedic Victoria Tufail said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service strongly believes that having defibrillators installed in public places, and training people in their use, really helps to save lives.

“The quicker someone is defibrillated, the more their chances of survival improve. It can also help to improve the chances of a patient’s full recovery and reduce the time to do so. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent. We’d encourage members of the community to join us for the training, where we will demonstrate how to use the defibrillator as well as vital lifesaving CPR techniques.”

Chairman of Brewood and Coven Parish Council Dr Richard Taylor said: “The defibrillator will be a great asset to the village although I hope the occasions when it will need to be used will be few and far between.”

John Hall, owner of Brewood Bakery, added: “I am delighted to be able to support this innovative initiative which will be a real benefit to the people of Brewood. It would be great to get as many local residents as possible to take part in the training course so that, should a medical emergency happen, we will be ready and prepared to help out.”

For more information on the course or to book a place call Watch Manager Paul Danby on 07835 527870 or email p.danby@staffordshirefire.gov.uk