Councillors look to work with communities to see where more defibrillators are needed

Thursday, 1 June 2023 13:52

By Katie Ahearn and Karen Dunn, Local Democracy Reporter

It follows a defibrillator being temporarily blocked off by scaffolding in Bognor Regis a few weeks ago

Councillors are looking to work with locals to establish areas in the community which could be in need of new defibrillators.

The motion was put forward by Bersted councillor Keir Greenway - just weeks after a Bognor Regis shop owner with a heart condition shared how he feared for his life when his nearest defibrillator was temporarily blocked off by scaffolding. 

The defibrillator has since been unblocked. In the meeting last Friday, Greenway also motioned for all defibrillators on council property and in schools to be registered with The Circuit, which means NHS ambulance services will have the information needed to access them quickly in an emergency.

Speaking on the proposals, Greenway shared how this is an issue close to his heart: “Most of us will have a story to tell about someone we know who suffered from cardiac arrest or heart problems.

“Mine is my mother but yours might be a friend or a colleague.

“Cardiac arrest can happen when we least expect it and, as we hear all too regularly, can happen to anyone.”

While the council runs a programme which encourages parishes and community groups to consider buying a defibrillator, there is currently no additional government funding available to support the purchasing of them.

Rustington Councillor Alison Cooper described the "provision, siting and registration" of defibrillators is "an important factor within a community."

"Any community can feel safer knowing where they are and be confident in an emergency that they know what to do and how to use them."

The council also plans to use social media to raise awareness of the benefits of having a defibrillator locally and to teach people how to use them.

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