Free sessions on how to use a defibrillator are being started in Bexhill to try to increase the number of people capable of saving a life with one.
Bexhill is lucky enough to have 16 defibrillators across the town available 24/7 thanks to the campaigning by the Community First Responders (CFR) and a lot of fundraising.
The CFR and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) will be holding two 15-minute sessions at Bexhill Library, Western Road, and New Foundations Estate Agents, Devonshire Road, from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, January 30.
CFR senior team leader Mike Dean said: “The open sessions on January 30, will be an opportunity for anyone to drop in and have hands-on experience using a training defibrillator.
“People are concerned that it is a complicated piece of equipment that needs special skills to operate.
“All the defibrillators that are in public places are voice prompted and as soon as the unit is opened the machine talks you through each stage.
“Over the last two years, the ambulance service and the community responders have been showing the 13 year olds at a local school how to use one.”
Using a defibrillator is one of the four main components in SECAmb’s ‘chain of survival’ as it can help to restart the heart.
Mike said people sometimes find the thought of using a defibrillator daunting but after a quick run-through, most are surprised by how easy it is.
“Whenever familiarisation sessions are held the favourite comment from those attending is ‘I didn’t realise how easy it was to use’,” he said.
“Lives have been saved by use of public defibrillators and 15 minutes on January 30 could save more lives.”
A defibrillator was used after an elderly woman collapsed in the Windmill Drive Post Office last month.
The CFR and SECAmb congratulated the quick-thinking and cooperation of the people in the Post Office to give her the best chance of survival by using the defibrillator.
However, she died a couple of weeks later due to the head injury she sustained when she collapsed.
Anyone interested in attending a session does not need to book.
However, more information is available by calling Mike on 07557 439363.
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