Sudbury defibrillator campaign believes up to 25 more devices could be made available to public by local businesses
The campaign seeking to have every Sudbury resident within two minutes of a defibrillator has estimated there may be up to 25 more life-saving devices already in the town that could be made publicly available.
The Help’r Defibrillator Project is encouraging businesses in the town that have a defibrillator on their premises to consider relocating the equipment outside their buildings into a purpose-built yellow box, so they can be used by the public in the event of an emergency.
Since the project began earlier this year, the number of machines in Sudbury either installed or committed to has risen from two up to 10, with the goal of having 20 up and running by the end of 2020.
Campaigner Andy Read, who survived a cardiac arrest last year, said that, while he could not be certain of the exact quantity of defibrillators in businesses, he believes from anecdotal evidence the number is quite high.
He suggested the equipment could be far more beneficial if accessible to more people by positioning them outside in a special cabinet.
“As we’re trying to get more defibrillators in the town and we know they will be used rarely, we want to encourage some of these businesses to move them outside, so they are usable by more people,” he told the Free Press.
“I have talked to a lot of people about how we make a change, and we have concluded it will not happen quickly, but we have to keep pushing the same message.
“The project does seem to be gaining momentum. I think the most important thing is the community are driving it, and they are the ones who will benefit from it.”
Mr Read also praised Sudbury Town Council for its work so far to help with the installation of several of the community defibrillators over the course of this year.
John McMillan, president of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, stated a lot of shops and many of the major employers have defibrillators on their premises.
“We have been fairly active in this field ourselves for a while,” he said. “We had a very interesting talk with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, where they were demonstrating defibrillators, and we have encouraged more companies to take them on.
“If shops could display a sign saying there is a defibrillator inside, we think that could be very useful.”
More by this authorThomas Malina