A campaign to help keep hearts in Cumbria beating has seen communities raise enough money to buy 60 defibrillators. The ‘100 defibrillators in 100 days’ campaign secured 60 new lifesaving devices, following support from councils, parishes and committees. The defibrillators are an essential tool in the council’s drive to cut coronary deaths in Cumbria.
Key to the campaigns success was a partnership with Cumbria’s Rotary clubs who also wanted easy access to a defibrillators from anywhere in the county. Cumbria County Councillor Alan Barry said: “The campaign was always ambitious and I am delighted that we have managed to secure funding for so many defibrillators. But the campaign doesn’t stop here even though our 100 days is now at an end. “The Rotary and I will still be doing all that I can to encourage even more communities, businesses and council offices to have one going forward.”
During the campaign, defibrillators were available at the discounted subsidised cost of £1,000. Each defibrillator is fitted inside a secure metal box with key code access. They have been placed outside community buildings and in town centres so that, if an emergency occurs, the 999 service will give the caller the location of the nearest machine along with the key code. It means treatment can be administered while the ambulance is on its way.
The defibrillators provide verbal instructions on how to operate them and will only deliver a shock if they don’t detect a heartbeat – thereby ensuring they are not used in the wrong situations.
Kevin Walsh, district governor for the Rotary in Cumbria and Lancashire, said: “Like the council we believe that having easy access to a defibrillator will save lives and we are doing all that we can to help raise funds to help purchase even more defibrillators for the communities in Cumbria. “We are also making sure that Rotarians have the confidence to use a defibrillator if they are ever called upon to do so.”
The appeal was originated by County Councillor John Murphy and is dedicated to his late wife Eleanor’s memory.