Leading the way with a life-saver at village shop

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PLUMPTON is well known for its innovation in community matters and it has achieved another first in the Lewes District.

This time it is the first village to buy and install a defibrillator for public use.

The Village Action Plan found that a large number of residents were in favour of having such a facility available, ready for immediate use should a resident suffer a heart attack.

Fundraising commenced and on Friday a defibrillator, affixed to the external wall of the village shop, was unveiled by Lewes MP Norman Baker, assisted by Prof Douglas Chamberlain. Fundraising was helped by a grant from Sussex Heart Charity.

The event attracted great attention from the local NHS and was attended by Prof Chamberlain, internationally acknowledged cardiologist and honorary medical adviser to South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), Julian Lee, chairman of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH), Prof Andy Newton, Director of Clinical Operations SECAmb, Dr Stephen Holmberg, Medical Director BSUH and principal lead consultant for cardiac services, and Sherree Fagge, Chief Nurse BSUH,

Prof Chamberlain and Dr Holmberg both explained that every minute is vital when someone suffers a cardiac arrest and having the defibrillator in an accessible place in the village could certainly help to save lives. The apparatus, it is said, can be used by absolutely anyone, even the untrained, as the moment it is activated there is a recording that talks the operator through every move.

However, Dr James Yassin, who lives in Plumpton Green, has undertaken to offer training sessions to residents to give them more confidence should they have to use the machine.

Mr Baker praised the village for once again taking the initiative and producing the results, as it has so often done in the past. He said: “If this apparatus is instrumental in saving just one life then it will certainly have been a worthy exercise.”

Village Action Plan vice-chairman Carole Nicholson thanked everyone concerned for making the event possible and said another defibrillator is planned at Plumpton railway station.