Bury St Edmunds street gets new defibrillator as businesses, fund-raisers and Our Bury St Edmunds join forces
St John's Street in Bury St Edmunds now has a life saving defibrillator thanks to a joint effort from local businesses and fund-raisers.
It was an emergency situation at Just Traid, a fair trade café and shop in St John's Street, which spurred manager Hayley Cook to launch the move to purchase and install a defibrillator at the St John's Centre.
Backed by business improvement district organisation Our Bury St Edmunds, which provides free first aid training to its members, the defibrillator is the latest of several which have been placed around the town.
Hayley said: "This is something that means a great deal to me as I have lost two close family members to heart attacks. But I was spurred on to get a defibrillator installed after having to call an ambulance for a customer and the 999 operator asked me where the nearest defibrillator was. Knowing that I would have to run all the way to McDonalds where the closest is situated and back again before starting treatment made me realise how critical it is to have one in St John's Street."
Mike Kirkham from Our Bury St Edmunds worked closely with campaigner Paul Hicklin who with family members has provided several of the vital machines around the town.
Paul said: "This is something I became passionate about following the death of my father and the support I have had from his friends and family members has meant we have been involved in the provision of five defibrillators across Bury St Edmunds.
"I'm especially grateful to Ken Goodwin and Darren Rolfe who organised a fund-raising darts tournament in my father's memory which has contributed a fantastic £500 to the cost of the defibrillator."
Mike said: "I can't thank Paul and his colleagues at Compleat Office Solutions enough for their significant contribution, as well as Ken and Darren for their support and indeed all the businesses and customers in St John's Street who gave so generously to Hayley's appeal and made it a real community effort."
More than 350 people working in businesses in the town centre have undertaken the BID's free training courses, which include the use of defibrillators, over the past three years.
Once it is turned on a defibrillator is fully automated and will guide its user through each step. Using CPR and automated external defibrillators can offer a 50 per cent chance of survival after a cardiac arrest.