The campaign to install life-saving defibrillators across the borough of Melton and the Vale of Belvoir has got off to a great start in 2015.
A community access defibrillator, which can be used in the event of someone having a heart attack, is now installed and fully operational in the decommissioned red and gold telephone box in Main Street, Gaddesby. The box was repainted through help from The British Coatings Federation and Pronto Paints.
This means there are now 64 accessible defibrillators at various locations in the borough and Vale areas.
In addition to Gaddesby, defibrillators have recently been installed at Hickling Village Hall and a second site in Stathern. The Grange Garden Centre at Asfordby Hill has also been given the equipment on a long-term loan and there are also several other sites pending delivery of defibrillators in Melton and the Vale such as Redmile and Barkestone-le-Vale.
Martin Fagan, national secretary of the Community HeartBeat Trust, the charity which provides the equipment to communities, said: “Establishing a community defibrillator is very valuable to support the community, but must be done right. It’s far too easy just to buy a defibrillator without realising these are medical devices and come under regulations for their use. We would encourage anyone wishing to establish a scheme to come and talk to the Community HeartBeat Trust and take advice.
“These devices are vital and essential for saving lives and can give members of the public the best chance to act quickly in an emergency before an ambulance service arrives.”
The £2,000 cost of the Gaddesby defibrillator and the security case it’s stored inside was paid for by donations from a village fundraising event last summer.
The Great Gaddesby Fun Weekend, which included a 1970’s party, dog show and talent contest, raised around £5,000 for Gaddesby Church and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
Janet Simpson, Melton borough councillor for the Gaddesby ward, said: “I congratulate members of the community in Gaddesby for their superb determination and efforts to install a defibrillator in the village which is now fully operational.
“This really is another good example of a community which pulls together for the good of all. Together with the defibrillator at Barsby, which has been installed for some time now, they have become another essential part of Leicestershire’s emergency care, providing vital help in the first few minutes before an ambulance crew arrives.”
l For more about the Community HeartBeat Trust visit www.communityheartbeat.or.uk