A SMALL village has become the first in Lincolnshire to launch a life-saving scheme which has brought the rural community together.
Villagers in Pickworth now have peace of mind that if they should suffer from cardiac arrest, a vital piece of equipment, a defibrillator, is readily available with several villagers able to use it.
The Community Public Access Defibrillator Scheme launched on Saturday, unveiled by Emma Egging whose husband Jon died in August 2011 when the Red Arrow plane he was flying crashed during an air display over Bournemouth.
More than 50 residents and guests attended the unveiling, including leader of Lincolnshire County Council Martin Hill OBE and representatives from the Community Heartbeat Trust, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), Lincolnshire Police, Community Lincs and Shield First Aid and Safety Training.
Villager James Counsell said: “The unveiling was a big success, with many villagers turning out to enjoy the sunshine and light refreshments.”
The scheme was the idea of six Pickworth villagers, and it came to fruition thanks to the Community Heartbeat Trust. Thinking of their neighbours, visitors and passers-by, they decided to raise money to buy a defibrillator at a cost of £2,000. In just one week, Pickworth residents donated every last penny to the cause, illustrating their support for the scheme.
James said: “The defibrillator idea was very well received by local residents, as Pickworth is a little bit remote and that puts ambulance times at 15 to 20 minutes from Grantham, which in the case of a heart attack may be too late.
“The defibrillator would give us a window of three to four minutes, making a big difference should the occasion ever occur.”
The defibrillator will be available 24/7. Its availability in the village is endorsed by EMAS as it could help keep a patient alive until the arrival of paramedics.
The piece of kit will be stored in a lock box on an external wall of Pickworth Village Hall and accessed by key pad code.
Statistics suggest that the survival rate following a sudden cardiac arrest is only five per cent using CPR alone, a figure which rises to 50 per cent where a defibrillator is used.
As such, Coun Hill commended the project and said he hoped other villages would follow suit.
l Does your village have a similar scheme in the pipeline? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org