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Fighting Disease

Rotary clubs promote defibrillators in their communities

Rotary clubs promote defibrillators in their communities

Rotary clubs in Devon and Kent have been working on projects to promote the availability of life-saving defibrillators.

Tiverton and Folkestone Rotary clubs have become involved with the defibrillator campaign.

Defibrillators are a first line of action to treat anyone who has suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.

Across Great Britain and Ireland, many Rotary clubs have funded defibrillators located in town and village centres, as well as with key organisations.

In Devon and Cornwall, it was discovered that the South West Ambulance Trust knew of few registered defibrillators across the region, so Tiverton Rotary decided to do something about it.

Rotarians were asked to identify and report the locations where defibrillators could be found in the area.

This resulted in a list of 40 appliances being identified, along with their locations and contact details.

The information was passed on to both the Ambulance Trust and the British Heart Foundation, who are also in the process of setting up a national data base.

Sue Godfrey from Tiverton Rotary said: “It cannot be stressed enough that it is important that all defibrillators are registered with the local Ambulance Trust and arrangements put in place for regular servicing.

“Anyone who sites a defibrillator should register it with their local Ambulance Trust – this gives them permission to hold the information on their database.

It cannot be stressed enough that it is important that all defibrillators are registered with the local Ambulance Trust and arrangements put in place for regular servicing.”

“The list we provided was welcomed, because it contained many locations unknown to the South West Ambulance Trust. This information can now be used in the event of an emergency.

“It could be helpful, indeed essential, if this initiative could be rolled out across the country and Rotary clubs are ideally suited to do this.”

In Kent, two defibrillators have found homes thanks to Rotary.

Folkestone Rotary continues to achieve great results despite the current challenges around COVID-19 by recently donating two defibrillators to the local community.

The first was awarded to Touchbase Care (Folkestone), a community group for people with physical and mental disabilities.

They had applied for funding for one last year, but were unsuccessful. Folkestone Rotary stepped in to provide a defibrillator to deputy manager, Rich Martin.

The second one was presented to Kent Police working in Folkestone. This mobile unit means that instead of waiting for an ambulance, the police can provide immediate vital support.

President Terry Cooke-Davies said: “Thanks to hard work conducted by our members we are able to support so many good causes and these recipients are able to perform their work with confidence should this equipment ever be required.