Trust launches life-saving community campaign

East24   CPAD Project 3

A cardiac arrest survivor has backed the Trust’s new campaign Their Life, Your Hands, which aims to take the fear out of using a life-saving defibrillator if someone collapses nearby.    

Steve Fursse, from Colchester, was revived after the quick-thinking of others and the early use of a defibrillator and his story features in a new video to launch the campaign.    

Duty Locality Officer Dan Turner, coordinator of the Their Life, Your Hands project, hopes the campaign will spread the message that members of the public can play a part in saving lives.   

Dan said: “There are more than 300 community public access defibrillators (CPADs) across the region, often in rural communities, but not everyone knows what they are, where they are located, or what to do with one in an emergency. Just as many people were uncomfortable in doing CPR a few years ago, we now see many people who are not fully comfortable in using defibrillators and there is a fear that they can cause harm if used incorrectly, which is not the case at all.” 

Posters with information on CPAD locations will be displayed in communities that already have one of the devices. A new page on the Trust’s website hosts the video, as well as a directory so people can locate their nearest CPAD.  

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “This campaign is a really important part of public education and I encourage staff to share the message wherever they can to ensure it is a success and raise awareness of the lives that can be saved with CPADs.”  

The campaign is endorsed by Sir Bob Russell, Colchester MP and Chairman of Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary First Aid Group, which promotes the importance of first aid in society.  

Sir Bob, who features in the campaign video, said: “We must never think the community is separate from the professional medics. People need to know where all the emergency equipment is and defibrillators should be regarded as an item of emergency equipment. You hope you never need to use it but you know where it is should you ever have to. People should have no fear of using a defibrillator; you take it out of the pack, turn it on, and then it’s all voice activated. It is as easy as A, B, C.”  

You can keep up with the campaign on Twitter using the #TheirLifeYourHands hashtag. 

Published 26th March 2015 

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