Free training offered to help you save a life

Paul, a Sompting Big Local Volunteer, carrying out the fortnightly Guardian check on the new defibrillator on the western wall of St Peter's Church, Bowness Avenue, before reporting back to Heartsafe/SECAMB.
Paul, a Sompting Big Local Volunteer, carrying out the fortnightly Guardian check on the new defibrillator on the western wall of St Peter's Church, Bowness Avenue, before reporting back to Heartsafe/SECAMB.

Sompting villagers are being offered training in how to use new life-saving equipment.

Community group Sompting Big Local has installed its third defibrillator in the village, on the western wall of St Peter’s Church, Bowness Avenue, which is available for anyone to use in emergencies, 24 hours a day.

And now the group is providing free training both in how to use the equipment, and how to give cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR, or chest compressions).

All three of Sompting’s defibrillators – the others are outside the chemist in Cokeham Parade and outside the Marquis pub in West Street – are housed in large, green boxes, ready to be used on someone who has suffered a heart attack.

Following a 999 call to the ambulance service, the caller is given a four-figure code to open the box, and then provided with guidance until the defibrillator is set up on the patient’s body.

As the machine is automatic, the person helping has just to listen and follow the instructions it gives on what and when to do. The procedure is the same whether the patient is an adult or a child.

Trevor Crowter, vice-chairman of Sompting Big Local, said the quicker a defibrillator was located and used on the patient, the better their chance of survival. “This is referred to as the Golden Hour, the first hour after the heart attack, in which medical treatment is used to prevent irreversible internal damage and to optimise the chance of the patient’s survival.

“While patients having a sudden cardiac arrest are prioritised by the ambulance service, when considering the current issues with the service’s response times it is imperative all members of the community know where their nearest defibrillator is and how to use it.”

The training will take place at St Peters Church, Bowness Avenue, on Thursday, July 14, at 6.30pm and lasting no more than an hour. It is for all ages. To book a place, e-mail somptingbiglocal@adurva.org or leave a message on 01903 905899 stating how many seats you wish to book.

Sompting Big local is currently seeking a fourth site north of the A27 in Sompting. Anyone with a suitable wall is asked to make contact.

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