Campaign aims for 20 community defibrillators to be installed in Sudbury before end of 2020
A cardiac arrest survivor believes the goal of having 20 community defibrillators in Sudbury by the end of 2020 is “not out of the question”, ahead of a public meeting this month in support of the cause.
Members of the public have been invited to attend an evening at Sudbury Town Hall to raise awareness of the importance of publicly-accessible life-saving equipment, and how people can help to get more installed.
Sudbury has seen a rapid increase in the number of new 24/7 defibrillator projects this year, with nine machines now either installed or planned for the town. At the start of 2019, just two were operational.
The meeting will feature a panel consisting of Sudbury mayor Robert Spivey, Martin Richards, of the Sudbury-based Gryphon First Aid Unit, Andrew Barlow, from the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and local campaigner Andy Read.
Mr Read, whose life was saved by the quick intervention of first responders after he suffered a cardiac arrest at home last year, said the purpose of the event is to provide guidance to people on how they can get a public defibrillator up and running near to where they live.
“Everyone really needs to have access to a defibrillator within two minutes if they have a cardiac arrest, so it’s important to have more in the town,” he said.
“I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding about what defibrillators are, because speed is crucial. If one had not got to me so quickly, I would probably have suffered brain damage.
“The only way to get them to people with speed is to have them dotted all over the place.
“At the moment, we have nine in Sudbury and, by the end of the year, I hope we will have 10. If we get 10 this year, I would like to think we could have another 10 next year.
“I don’t think 20 is out of the question by the end of 2020. Although that seems like a lot, when you compare it to what some towns have, it’s really not that many.
“Frankly, if all of this saves just one life, it will have been worth it.”
Currently, the locations of the machines that have been installed or committed to in the town are:
- Sudbury Town Hall
- Sudbury Health Centre
- Elizabeth Way / Lime Grove
- Scout building in Quay Lane
- Woodhall Primary School
- St John’s Church
- Sandy Lane
- Masonic Hall in North Street
- Ballingdon Street
Each piece of equipment costs between £1,200 and £1,300.
Mr Read cited the Elizabeth Way defibrillator close to his home, which was installed earlier this year after around 28 households contributed £50 to fund it, as an example of how a combined community effort can enable these defibrillators to be delivered.
The meeting will take place at the town hall on Wednesday, October 23, starting at 7pm, with deputy town clerk Jodie Budd confirming the aim is to help co-ordinate efforts to ensure that work is not duplicated and that defibrillators are not installed in the same place.
More by this authorThomas Malina