THE FIRST of vital life-saving defibrillators for Saddleworth has been installed at a key site in Denshaw.
The automatic, portable device is in a bright yellow coded cabinet fixed to the Village Hall and can be used by the public alongside assistance over the phone during a 999 call to a paramedic.
The move comes after North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) revealed villagers only have a two per cent chance of a full recovery from a cardiac arrest unless they can be reached a paramedic or ambulance in eight minutes.
If a defibrillator can be accessed and used, the full recovery rate goes up to better than 50 per cent.
The machine provides instructions, carries out a diagnosis, applies the appropriate level of charge and then analyses the results, repeating the procedure if necessary.
Saddleworth councillors, led by former borough and Parish Councillor Alan Roughley, have made an agreement with NWAS to get 15 defibrillators in public areas to increase the chance of survival.
Alan was joined at Denshaw Village Hall by paramedic Lisa Stanway from the NWAS community resuscitation team to install the first defibrillator.
She said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the community to get this first defibrillator in place and switched on.
“Now we just need to let more people know about it as this equipment really can save lives.”
The pair were joined by Martin Smith, who has taken on the role of defibrillator ‘guardian’ and will carry out weekly checks on the equipment.
The former dentist said: “I am involved with the Village Hall already and have a medical background so I seemed to be a suitable person to help.”
To build up a network across Saddleworth, machines are due to be installed at the Three Crowns Inn and Restaurant at Scouthead, Uppermill Civic Centre and Tame Valley Tennis Club in Greenfield, alongside others.
The cabinets have a mains electricity supply, which lights up a digital lock and provides warmth to keep the equipment in good condition – costing around just £5 per year.
Saddleworth borough councillors Garth Harkness and Derek Heffernan have already agreed to pay for the boxes to house the equipment out of their budgets.
And Oldham’s Director of Public Health has agreed to meet electrical fitting costs and planning permission agreement for another site on a listed building.
Alan added: “There are 1,000 people at least in this district that could benefit from this new equipment.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work to get this in place and we still need some guardians to come forward for defibs in other villages.”
Groups who would like to be involved with the defibrillator network should call Alan Roughley on: 01457 870074 or email: email@example.com