The Mayor of Dudley has officially unveiled a new potentially life-saving canal side Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) near Stourbridge’s historic Bonded Warehouse.
Stourbridge Navigation Trust has bought and installed the equipment, which can re-start a heart in the event of cardiac arrest. A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it’s an essential lifesaving step in the chain of survival.
The group, which looks after the Bonded Warehouse and Stourbridge Canal Arm, secured nearly £2,000 funding from the Norton, Pedmore and Stourbridge East, and Wollaston and Stourbridge Town Community Forum.
The defibrillator was officially unveiled on 27th February by Councillor Alan Taylor as trustees, volunteers and local business representatives watched on.
Lance Cartwright, Trustee for Stourbridge Navigation Trust, said:
“The area along the canal is very popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and visitors to the Bonded Warehouse itself so we felt it was very much in the interests of everyone in the local community to invest in a defibrillator which could potentially save lives in the event of a medical emergency.
We were delighted that the Mayor was able to attend to officially unveil it.”
Councillor Alan Taylor, Mayor of Dudley, said:
“It is a medical fact that having defibrillators in close proximity can literally be the difference between life and death for people who suffer a heart attack.
This defibrillator will be available to anyone who needs it, and trustees and volunteers of the trust will be trained in how to use it should an emergency arise. Local businesses will also be able to take advantage of training too.
It is an excellent example of how organisations can use the Council’s Community Forums to secure funding for projects to benefit everyone.”
Training in how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and when / how to use the Defibrillator was given to over 40 local people who live , work or use community facilities based at the Bonded Warehouse later in the day by Paul Grove from Blackcountry Fast Aid.
Access to and use of the Bonded Warehouse PAD
The PAD is retained in a secure cabinet located on the outside wall of the office building, near to the weighbridge – it’s easy to spot the bright yellow box ! Access is via a key coded lock that SNT and the West Midlands Ambulance Service have custody of. In the case of a public 999 emergency call being made, the ambulance service will instruct the caller that this is their nearest PAD and tell them the code to open the security case. Once used the PAD is returned and a person responsible for it at SNT will be contacted about the incident.
Defibrillators are used as briefly described below by the British Heart Foundation:
- If you come across someone who is not breathing or breathing erratically, the most important thing is to call 999 and start CPR to keep the blood flowing around the body. After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent.
- If you’re on your own, don’t interrupt the CPR to go and get a defibrillator. If it’s possible, send someone else to find one. When you call 999, the operator can tell you if there’s a public access defibrillator nearby and the code to open the cabinet.
- Once the defibrillator is open and in position, all you have to do is follow the spoken instructions. The PAD installed by SNT is “fully automatic” and will give verbal instructions of how to use it. The defibrillator detects the heart’s rhythm, it won’t deliver a shock unless one is needed. You should resume CPR as soon as instructed by the defibrillator.
We hope that the defibrillator is never used but also feel that if a heart-related emergency does occur then it might just help to save someone’s life.