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Sudbury reaches target of raising funds for 10 community defibrillators by end of 2019




A campaign to deliver more community defibrillators to Sudbury has achieved its goal of funding 10 devices by the end of 2019.

Life-saving equipment has been installed on the exterior of St John’s Methodist Church in York Road, following a collaboration between the church team and Sudbury-based charity Gryphon First Aid Unit, an extension of the Sudbury Community First Responders Scheme.

It is the tenth 24/7 defibrillator to be either put in place or committed to in the town, which started the year with just two such machines up and running.

Life-saving equipment has been installed on the exterior of St John’s Methodist Church in Sudbury, with support from Gryphon First Aid Unit. Photo supplied by Martin Richards. (23133198)
Life-saving equipment has been installed on the exterior of St John’s Methodist Church in Sudbury, with support from Gryphon First Aid Unit. Photo supplied by Martin Richards. (23133198)

Gryphon First Aid founder Martin Richards, who provides first response care at various local events, including the annual Sudbury Fun Run, said the milestone showed that more people understood the importance of making these devices publicly accessible in as many places as possible.

He explained his aim is now to help residents feel more confident in how to handle the defibrillators, stating it is vital they are used within two minutes of a cardiac emergency to maximise the chance of survival.

“As the co-ordinator of the local first responders, I see this from both sides,” he told the Free Press. “In the case of a sudden cardiac arrest, every minute that goes by, the chance of surviving to discharge from hospital goes down significantly.

“Using a defibrillator early is a big chunk of the chain of survival and, for me as a first responder, it gives me something to work with.

“The church asked me to source a cabinet for their defibrillator, and they have now made it available to everyone, which I think is fantastic. The lesson I want to get out now is how safe they are to use.”

The installation at St John’s Methodist Church was welcomed by local campaigner and cardiac arrest survivor Andy Read, who added that Sudbury should now strive towards the target of 20 defibrillators by the end of 2020.

A similar campaign is also under way in Long Melford after a fundraising appeal was launched by the parish council, with backing from Gryphon First Aid.

Mr Richards said ideas for three potential defibrillator sites in the village have already been suggested, and he urged anybody interested in helping to fund a new machine to get in touch.

To contact Gryphon First Aid, call 07980 560529 or go online to gryphonfirstaid.btck.co.uk.


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