Blofield: Community First Responders purchase equipment which could save local lives

The safety of people in the Brundall area has been given a big boost after a new community access defibrillator was officially unveiled.

The Brundall Area Community First Responders launched the new medical equipment – which can be used to restart a person's heart – at Blofield United Football Club on Saturday.

Joined by BBC Radio Norfolk's Wally Webb, the specially-trained volunteers celebrated the purchase with some heart-shaped cakes, supplied by the Pound Lane Sainsbury's supermarket in Thorpe St Andrew.

The defibrillator has been purchased with money raised at last year's Party in the Park event in Blofield, resulting in a cheque for �2,022.50 being presented to the Brundall Area Community First Responders.

It will be permanently sited at the football club, on Old Yarmouth Road, for public use covering Brundall, Blofield, Strumpshaw, Lingwood, Buckenham and Hassingham in an emergency.

The volunteers respond to emergency calls on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service, if it isn't possible to get an ambulance to the scene of a potentially life-threatening emergency within eight minutes.

Christine Wheeler, one of the Brundall area volunteers, explained: 'Our purpose is to try to make a difference in our community, helping to stabilise the collapsed patient and, in doing so, help to keep the patient alive until the arrival of the more highly skilled ambulance crew, who are trained to undertake further life saving techniques.

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'If the ambulance service can send a Community First Responder who is trained in basic life support, the use of a defibrillator and in administering oxygen to the collapsed patient within three to four minutes, the patient's chances of survival will increase by 10pc for every minute that the Community First Responder is there prior to the arrival of the ambulance crew.'

Sainsbury's Pound Lane's bakery manager, Steve Dawson, had heard about the scheme and set his bakery team into action to donate cup cakes with individual white chocolate hearts on the top, which were enjoyed at Saturday's launch event.

Linda Andrews, spokesman for the supermarket, added: 'One of our corporate commitments is to work with our local community. The store was delighted to be involved with the launch of the great work that many people have been part of.

'I am sure the defibrillator will be invaluable to the local area in emergency situations.'

For more details about becoming a Community First Responder, go to www.brundall.respondersuk.org

- Are you organising a community event? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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