A life-saving piece of equipment that improves the chances of surviving a heart attack has been put in place in Great Cornard.
The Co-op supermarket had a defibrillator installed outside its store in Canhams Road last week. The equipment will be available 24 hours a day in case of emergency.
Charlie Haylock, who has lived in the village for more than 20 years, welcomed the move. “This equipment is essential,” he said.
“It could literally mean the difference between life and death. In the time between calling 999 and the ambulance arriving, it could be used to save someone’s life.”
Mr Haylock, a well-known author, said it was particularly significant given the death of Sudbury Rugby Club player Josh Rix, who was from Newberry Road.
The 23-year-old, who had a young son called Alfie, died after suffering a heart attack in Perth, Australia, last January.
“Our community still remember this sad loss and it emphasises that this defibrillator could potentially be used to save the life of anyone in the community, not just the older generation,” said Mr Haylock, who used to play for Sudbury RFC.
The rugby club has backed the introduction of the equipment, with under-10s player Jack Fulford joining Great Cornard Parish Council chairman Mick Cornish, residents and members of the East of England Ambulance Service (EEA) to practise CPR techniques on resuscitation dolls last Monday.
John Needle, from the EEA, highlighted the importance of having a defibrillator close by.
“In the event of a cardiac arrest, an ambulance will always be dispatched,” said Mr Needle.
“However, if someone on the scene is able to administer CPR or use one of these defibrillators within the first four minutes, there is a significantly higher survival rate.”