Defibrillator for community use

Your parish council is delighted to say that there is now a new defibrillator, available 24/7 for community use, located at the rear of the Chestfield Golf Course club house, in an unlocked heated cabinet to keep it in optimum condition. The defibrillator was provided for the Parish of Chestfield by Chestfield Parish Council and the Rotary Club of Chestfield, with assistance from Community First Responders and Chestfield Golf Club. We hope it is never needed, but if it is, anyone is welcome to borrow it and try and save a life. The defibrillator is fully automatic, gives complete voice prompts on use, and will not administer a shock to anyone not needing one.

We are still actively seeking a volunteer over 18 years of age to become a Community First Responder for the parish (see the article below from a first responder to learn more).

Heart attack signs and symptoms – simple skills saves lives

o   Central chest pain; a dull pain, ache or ‘heavy’ feeling in the chest; or a mild chest discomfort that makes the person feel generally unwell. This may feel like bad indigestion.

o   This may spread to arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.

o   They may also feel light-headed, dizzy and short of breath, feel nauseous or vomit.

 

If you think a person is having a heart attack: Call 999 or 112 for an ambulance. Get the person to sit down. Keep them calm. Don’t give them any food or drink. CHECK:

Danger           Approach with care

Response       Is the casualty conscious? Gently shake their shoulders and ask loudly “Are you alright?” If there’s no response, shout for help.

Airway            Open their airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin.

Breathing       Look, listen and feel for signs of normal breathing for up to 10 seconds.

If the patient is barely breathing, or taking infrequent, noisy gasps, this is not normal breathing. If any doubt act as if it is not normal.

 

If they’re breathing normally: place the casualty in the recovery position and call 999 or 112 for an ambulance.

If they’re not breathing normally: Ask someone to call 999 for an emergency ambulance. If you’re alone, call 999. Turn the casualty on to their back and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR):

CPR step 1; Give 30 chest compressions

o   Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the casualty’s chest and the heel of the other on top. Interlock your fingers.

o   Press down on the sternum, 5 to 6 cms (2 to 2 1/2 inches) 30 times. After each compression release pressure but don’t remove your hands. Do this about 100 to 120 times per minute (around 2 per second)

 

CPR step 2: If you have a face mask, or know the person and are happy to – Give 2 rescue breaths (continue compressions if you can’t do rescue breaths)

Open their airway.
Pinch their nose closed, breathe in, cover their mouth with yours and breathe steadily into their mouth. Two rescue breaths should only take 5 seconds.
Make sure their chest rises and falls.

CPR step 3: Repeat 30 compressions and then 2 rescue breaths until:

–       Professional help takes over

–       The patient coughs, moves and breathes normally, or

–       You become exhausted.

The Role of Community First Responders

Amanda Sparkes, the Clerk, talked with Community First Responder, Ryan Truelove. Community First Responders are volunteers who are trained to respond to emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECamb). They respond to 999 calls of breathing difficulties or heart problems such as cardiac arrest, strokes, and minor injuries, pending the arrival of an ambulance – this early intervention saves lives.

Why did you do this voluntary role? Ryan replied “I get satisfaction from knowing that I might be going out to save someone’s life. I responded to 238 calls in the last 12 months, in the sixteen hours a week plus that I volunteer. I have been doing this role for four years and feel it is an achievement that I can play a part and reassure people in emergency situations.”

What is your most memorable event? Ryan replied “There are so many incidents. This week, someone in a nearby road was having a panic attack and shortness of breath – I received the text alert with the details and I attended rapidly – and the caller was still on the phone to control. I sat her down and reassured and assessed her condition. She was very panicked about her breathing difficulties. Some minutes later the crew turned up and I handed over to them. The patient was put in the ambulance. A daughter, who was about 12 years of age, was very teary and repeatedly said aloud that she thought mum was going to die. So I explained to the little girl what the next steps and tests would be and reassured her that mum would be fine. The next day my doorbell went and the daughter was there with some brownies, baked by her mum as a thank you. Small things like that bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye thinking that someone who might have been going into cardiac arrest was able to thank me in such a personal way also.”

Ryan went on, “Another example was just before Christmas. I went to another case of a wife experiencing shortness of breath. Her husband was present but her neighbour was administering required CPR. I attended and asked permission from the husband to cut down her nightie to place the defibrillator pads on. I rang control and confirmed it was a cardiac arrest. The defibrillator continually assessed the patient’s rhythm and advised me to continue with CPR.  After 10 minutes in to CPR, two crews came in and administered drugs and relieved me.”

How can you become a Community First Responder? Anyone over 18, with a full, clean, UK driving licence (held for over one year) and with access to their own vehicle to be able to respond to emergencies, can volunteer. Responders would not be sent to incidents involving violence or aggression, traffic accidents, child birth, drugs, alcohol or mental health or potential life threatening calls.

Volunteers need to be fit and healthy and be able to commit 4 hours or more per week. Whilst a Community Responder is on call they can continue with their normal day to day activities, but must be ready and able to attend an incident when dispatched. Volunteers would cover a 3-4 mile radius from where they live. All mileage is paid.  Volunteers receive full training, a phone and hi-viz jacket, and equipment to manage a patient’s condition.

Where is there further information? Visit www.secamb.nhs.uk or email kent.cfr@secamb.nhs.uk or contact the parish council Clerk on 01227 773121.

SECamb  cannot provide indefinite funding so the Responders rely on charitable donations and sponsorship to continue to provide a vital service to the community.