Weston Parish Council has installed a community defibrillator in the village for use by the public on victims of sudden cardiac arrest (heart attacks). This device is accessible 24 hours a day. A defibrillator is a portable machine that automatically sends an electric shock to the heart muscle to return it to its normal rhythm
IMPORTANT: In the event of an emergency dial 999 and ask for an ambulance before you do anything else. The operator will confirm the location of the nearest defibrillator and give you the number code to unlock the door of the defibrillator cabinet and access the equipment.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE TRAINED TO USE THIS EQUIPMENT - THE DEVICE WILL TALK YOU THROUGH WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. REMEMBER TO DIAL 999 FIRST.
Where can I find the defibrillator? The device is located in the former red telephone box on Main Street (now owned by the Parish Council). Paint to spruce up the box was donated by a British Coatings Federation member and BT are supplying the power to the light and unit in support of the Community Heartbeat Trust.
What is a defibrillator? A defibrillator is a potentially life-saving device which delivers an electrical current that shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm following a sudden cardiac arrest. They are safe and easy to use. The units cost up to £2,000 each and are wall-mounted in bright yellow metal boxes.
Why have a defibrillator? The device has been installed by the Parish Council amid concerns that ambulance response times for rural locations like Weston can be lengthy. The Parish Council decided that the community needed to help itself and so it launched a fundraising drive, actively supported by the Village Hall committee and local residents.
Who paid for it? Thanks to generous local donations and enthusiastic fundraising from all sections of the community, residents and businesses alike, over £3,000 has been raised to finance the purchase of the unit, provide training and fund elements of the ongoing maintenance of the unit.
Who supplied the unit? The Parish Council has teamed up with a national charity, the Community HeartBeat Trust, which already supplies defibrillators to parish councils and local groups elsewhere in the country. The Trust supplied all the equipment and provides training and advice, but the Parish Council installed and owns the unit on behalf of the village and is responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. The equipment has to be regularly checked and replaced as necessary.
An emergency telephone is being sourced and it is hoped to have this installed in the near future alongside the defibrillator unit.
What else is being done? Weston Parish Council has arranged free ‘awareness training’ sessions for residents, run by the Community HeartBeat Trust, to show local people how to use the equipment and what to do in an emergency. The Parish Council hopes that this will lead to more formal first aid training for residents. The Village Hall Committee hope to provide further first aid training on a regular basis going forward.
Who will pay for it in future? Since the Parish Council is responsible for the ongoing costs of maintenance and replacement of the units, funds will come from the parish budget. A ring-fenced fund has been set up, which will also cover additional costs of replacement consumables etc. A local business has generously agreed to provide an annual donation of £250 towards the running costs of the unit. The Council however continues to welcome donations from residents and local businesses to help fund this vital service. If you would like to make a contribution please contact the Parish Clerk or any of your local Parish Councillors.