Boost for life-saving units in Hailsham

Town Mayor Cllr Jo Bentley
Town Mayor Cllr Jo Bentley

A campaign to get life-saving defibrillators installed in Hailsham has been given a boost.

Councillors Chriss Triandafyllou, Nigel Coltman and Town Mayor Jo Bentley have awarded their individual dividend money from Wealden District Council’s Community Dividend fund to Hailsham Town Council, in a bid to get public access defibrillators (PADs) to be installed outside key buildings in the town and made accessible for public use, subject to planning permission.

It was agreed the town council will support Councillors Bentley, Coltman and Triandafyllou by covering the shortfall required for the purchase and installation of the three PAD units including heated and secured cabinets. It is hoped town councillors and other supporters will raise enough money to acquire an additional/fourth PAD unit. Maintenance of the PAD units will be carried out by the council and advice will be sought from the ambulance service on suitable locations for them.

In the case of a sudden cardiac arrest, on average only ten per cent of people survive unless they receive early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation. Average survival rates increase to 38 per cent with early intervention, the council said.

Cllr Bentley said: “There’s evidence to show that if someone has fallen victim to cardiac arrest then the earlier the defibrillation, the greater chance of survival and the better quality of life post-survival. I’m proud that my colleagues at the council have agreed to invest in defibrillators for the community and they will be purchased and installed as soon as possible.”

The council will be organising free training sessions in partnership with the ambulance service and how to become a community ‘First Responder’ (CFR) volunteer. Cllr Chriss Triandafyllou said: “CFRs make a valuable contribution to the local community and we all know that in a number of medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical.”

The dates and times for CFR training sessions will be decided in the coming weeks.