A life-saving community defibrillator has been installed in a Durham village, thanks to the backing of the Labour ward councillor.
The emergency apparatus was mounted in West Rainton, thanks to the work of West Rainton and Leamside Village Partnership and funding provide by Labour ward county councillor David Hall.
The team worked with the Community Heartbeat Trust to make the life-saving machine available for members of the community, should someone suffer a cardiac arrest.
Situated outside of the Jubilee Hall on North Street, the community defibrillator is available for use 24 hours a day. Upon receiving a call, the ambulance service will direct the caller to the machine, issue access to the locked cabinet and provide instruction.
Emily Burns, Chair of the West Rainton and Leamside Village Partnership, said: “After such a difficult year, we are so pleased to be able to provide this life saving machine to our community.
“Thank you for the in-kind support from local businesses, the funding from Cllr Hall and the support from community volunteers who have helped make this happen. We look forward to running information and training sessions for anyone who wants to learn more, when COVID19 restrictions allow.
“Also, well done to the children from West Rainton Primary, previously trained by the North East Ambulance Service as “Mini Medics”, who created a promotional video explaining the location and how to access the Defibrillator so everyone in the community is aware.”
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs around 100,000 times a year, making it one of the UK’s major killers. Statistics suggest CPR saves just 5% of people who suffer an arrest. However, using CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) increases chances of survival by 50%.
Labour’s Cllr Hall, who represents Sherburn Ward, said: “Sudden cardiac arrest is a killer and while we hope the defibrillator will never have to be used, it’s great to know that if it’s needed, it’s there.
“I’d like to applaud the hard work of the Village Partnership and thank the members for everything they do to enhance the communities of West Rainton and Leamside.”
The defibrillator and rescue kit were installed in conjunction with the Community Heartbeat Trust, which will also provide a training awareness session with residents, businesses and community groups when COVID19 restrictions allow.
The project was also supported by local electrician Liam Alexander from LA Electrical and Ian Brown from Paramount Group, who both offered their services free of charge to connect the electric and provide CCTV coverage of the new defibrillator.