Village initiative ensures survival

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If you, or a family member, is unfortunate enough to suffer a heart attack, then Heathfield or one of its surrounding villages are increasingly safe places to live.

Heathfield MP Nuw Merriman joined local councillors to unveil a publicly accessible defibrillator outside Broad Oak village hall on Saturday morning. It’s the latest in a series of successful community-led projects to provide better cardiac protection fo rural residents.

Similar equipment has already been installed in Bodle Street Green (on the White Horse Inn;) Rushlake Green (on Osborne House sheltered home;) Punnetts town (the village hall) and Cade Street (on Goward Hall) with further AEDs planned for Three Cups Corner and Old Heathfield shortly.

The result of the effort, spearheaded by local residents’ group ResuscitUs, will be the installation of a network of local defibrillators helping to protect some 2,000-3,000 rural households.

Wealden councillor Nigel McKeeman said: “In the case of a sudden heart attack it is unlikely an ambulance would be able to reach the victim within the first ten minutes during which resuscitation with CPR and defibrillation is critical for survival.”

As well as donations and pledges from local people the equipment has been bought thanks to support and funding from Heathfield and Warbleton parish councils, The Police Property Fund and the British Heart Foundation.

Local campaigner, fundraiser and former councillor Ray Cade is now anxious to encourage as many people as possible to learn CPR. Sessions have already been run by SECAmb in three villages and more are planned shortly for Cade Street and Broad Oak itself. To find out more or arrange to take part in a free CPR instructional session contact him at: 01435 864453.

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