Lifesaving campaign makes first steps to helping Eastbourne

Sue King, John Kenton, Alec Stephens SUS-170427-135843001
Sue King, John Kenton, Alec Stephens SUS-170427-135843001

A campaign to get lifesaving equipment available across the town is in full swing.

The Herald this week caught up with representatives involved with the Eastbourne Heart Beat Campaign to discuss its plans for moving forward in its effort to get defibrillators installed throughout Eastbourne.

Members of Eastbourne’s Defibrillator Partnership present at the meeting included Steve Rochester of East Sussex Health Trust, Alec Stephens of Eastbourne Lions, Richard Bradford of Eastbourne First Responders and a member of Eastbourne Borough Council.

The campaign – which launched in March and is proudly backed by the Herald – wants to make as many community organisations as possible aware of the lifesaving benefits of having public access defibrillators available in key areas across Eastbourne.

Its vision is to be no more than three minutes away from the equipment no matter where you are.

The campaign also wants the public to be aware of and confident in using a defibrillator to potentially save someone’s life.

Just earlier this month, a defibrillator was used on a person who had collapsed in Willingdon Memorial Hall.

Before emergency services arrived, the public access defibrillator was used on the man at the centre in Church Street.

It was successful in resuscitating him – according to South East Coast Ambulance Service and Community First Responders – then an ambulance took him to Eastbourne DGH.

A spokesperson for SECAmb said, “We would like to thank everyone involved at the scene for their quick response to the incident.”

Using a defibrillator can dramatically increase a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest. For instance, if a defibrillator or CPR is used between three to five minutes after cardiac arrest, the person’s survival chances increase from six per cent to 74 per cent.

A spokesperson from Eastbourne Heart Beat campaign said, “Since the launch of the campaign we’ve received a number of pledges from a range of different sources, including residents, solicitors, shops, restaurants, charities, schools and sports and community clubs.

“Those that have pledged have taken the first step to help save lives in their community and have been sent a copy of the Eastbourne Heart Beat information pack that will help them obtain their own Public Access Defibrillator.

“We held our latest Eastbourne Defibrillator Partnership meeting on Tuesday, where we welcomed two new members to the group. The Partnership continues to raise awareness of the importance of defibrillators and to see the introduction of Public Access Defibrillators across Eastbourne.”

Alec Stephens of Eastbourne Lions added, “The greatest obstacle we have encountered in trying to install a defibrillator is the fear of using one. You cannot do harm to anybody suffering a heart attack with the machine as it won’t let you. It will tell you exactly what to do.”

To find out more about the Eastbourne Defibrillator Partnership, or to take the Eastbourne Heart Beat pledge, you can contact: defibrillator@eastbourne.gov.uk