Organisers (from left to right) Virgil Turner, John King, Rob James and Steve Postles standing beside the newly installed defibrillator near Monmouth beach.
Two new automated external defibrillators were purchased following a highly successful fundraising campaign last year organised by local group Lyme Heartbeat. These potentially life saving devices are now fully operational and registered with the South Western Ambulance Service. One is located at the back of Monmouth beach car park past the Boat Building Academy and the other is situated at the rear of the Marine Theatre. Lyme Heartbeat organised a boat jumble, raffle and crowdfunding campaign in September 2017, raising over £4,500.
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are designed to be used by members of the public and are very effective at guiding the operator through the process. The device is used to give an electric shock to help restart a patient’s heart when they are in cardiac arrest.
Organiser Steve Postles commented “Lyme Heartbeat are extremely grateful to the support of the local community and businesses in helping us raise enough funds for two units. We also thank the Town Council and the Marine Theatre for enabling these units to be installed as planned.”
Next month the organisation are holding another fundraising event, known as Lyme Heartbeat Day, which will be held on 16th September and will take place in the Marine Parade Shelters on the seafront. The objective is to raise funds for an additional unit and support the ongoing maintenance of the existing devices.
In a joint statement, organisers Rob James, Virgil Turner, Steve Postles and John King said: “Our plan is to increase the provision of 24-hour access defibrillators right across Lyme Regis as the availability of defibrillators can help to save lives. When a heart stops beating from cardiac arrest, every second counts. The chances of recovery are reduced by about 10% after each minute without action. Effective CPR coupled with the use of a defibrillator within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest can produce survival rates in the 49% - 75% range. If there were more public access defibrillators, more people could get a life-saving shock as quickly as possible, ahead of an ambulance arriving.”
Indications are that many members of the public don’t know what an automated external defibrillator (AED) is, where to find one and how to use one. This is despite AEDs being suitable for use by untrained members of the public.
Lyme's Chief Fire Officer and First Responder, Virgil Turner remarked “We know it's not enough to have the devices in situ, educating the local community on resuscitation and defibrillator usage is a priority which is why we will be holding a number of demonstrations during Lyme Heartbeat Day.
24 hour access automated external defibrillator installed at the rear of the Marine Theatre