Race against time to save local events

St_John_Ambulance_FE154_Y46_RCRSt John Ambulance is in a race against time, to replace two crucial pieces of medical equipment needed to host public events.

Due to health and safety regulations public events cannot take place without a medical defibrillator. Currently Canterbury, Whitstable and Hearne Bay only have two medical defibrillators between them, and they are set to expire.

St John Ambulance is a charity run public service and is struggling to get funding for both machines. One defibrillator costs £1000 and lasts for 10 years.

Paramedic for St John Ambulance, Nakai Redman has warned that if the equipment is not replaced events will have to be cancelled. He said:

“We have a unit close to Canterbury that provides public cover for community events such as Canterbury cricket and congratulations events at the cathedral. It is a very active unit in the area. But if they don’t have this key piece of equipment then they would seize to exist, as we can’t put anyone out there without a defibrillator.”

The organisation has managed to get funding for one defibrillator, from Canterbury City Council but this isn’t enough. Ideally they would like to purchase three defibrillators so they have one for each area. Currently if Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay all want to hold an event on the same day, one will have to be turned down and put on a different day.

Area manager for St John Ambulance, Nakai Redman, explains why defibrillators are so important. He Said:

“A defibrillator is a key piece of equipment of survival when having a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. It’s second in the chain of survival, first being finding the person who is having the cardiac arrest. For every moment without attaching them to one, their chances of survival reduces massively, we are talking 10% every minute.”

St John ambulance attended the Canterbury Area Member panel Westgate hall on Monday and was quizzed about the crisis.

Deputy leader of the Labour group, Jean Butcher , asked what else St John Ambulance are doing to raise the money. Nakai Redman revealed a national drive is being organised to get people to donate, the drive is going to be called Donate for Defib.

With 60,000 cardiac arrests happening each year and almost half of them occurring outside of hospitals it is clear how important defibrillators are.

“We believe no one should suffer because of lack of first aid” Paramedic Nakai Redman said.

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