Lyme Heartbeat is run by a group of volunteers who share a vision of having a network of publicly accessible defibrillators installed throughout Lyme Regis.
Lyme's Chief Fire Officer and first responder Virgil Turner, local business people Rob James, Karen Skardon James, John King and Steve Postles are determined to ensure as many of these life saving devices as possible are installed. The organisation is supported by many other individuals and businesses in the town who have contributed in helping to raise important funds.
Lyme Heartbeat evolved from an organisation originally formed in memory of fisherman Brian Marks who sadly passed away in 2015 following a heart attack. The organisation raises funds for life saving equipment and previous events including boat jumbles, raffles and crowdfunding have enabled 24 hour access automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be installed at the end of the Cobb, near Monmouth beach and at the rear of the Marine Theatre.
A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, young or old, at any time. The use of a defibrillator and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within the first few minutes can improve the chances of the patient surviving significantly. According to the South Western Ambulance Service, more than 3,600 people are resuscitated by ambulance staff every year in the South West because they suffer a pre-hospital cardiac arrest. For every minute that passes once in cardiac arrest a person's chances of survival are reduced by 10%. It is therefore recommended for a defibrillator to be within a 4-5 minute walk of every location. Without doubt increased availability of defibrillators would improve cardiac arrest survival rates throughout the South West and Lyme Heartbeat are determined to make Lyme Regis a heart safe town.