Sheringham heart start machine appeal

An appeal to buy a public 'heart start' machine is under way at Sheringham.

And it has the backing of a man who is living proof they work.

The town's First Responder volunteers are looking to raise �2,000 to put a defibrillator in the town centre.

Co-ordinator David Draper said there were other machines in the area but often in places such as schools that were not always open to the public.

One placed in a box on a wall in a main street would be available for anyone to use if someone was having a heart attack.

Passers-by phoning 999 would be given a keypad number to release the machine and could use it while they waited for the emergency services to arrive.

The machine and appeal were highlighted by a demonstration at Sheringham Sainsbury's store, where people could have a go on a training dummy.

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But also on hand was cardiac survivor Bruce Weightman who suffered a heart attack at Kelling Heath gym in 2009 - but was saved by a defibrillator on the premises.

'I was on a rowing machine when I collapsed with a cardiac arrest. I didn't know anything until I was being put into the ambulance, having been saved buy quick-thinking gym staff and an accessible defibrillator that had been paid for by public subscription,' he explained.

One is planned for near the Age UK day centre in Cremer Street, Sheringham but the nest priority is the first fully public one, using appeal cash with grants from the Upcher Community Partnership and Sainsburys.

First Responder Nathan Liberman said: 'We're all volunteers, trained to respond to healthcare emergencies in the local area. Living in the town we can often get to patients ahead of the ambulance.

Collection boxes for the defibrillator fund are at Sainsbury's, Budgens and Dizzy's burger van near Cromer.

There are six first responders in Sheringham, but they are keen to add to their numbers. If you are over 17 with a driving licence and a 'can do' attitude contact David Draper on 07900 247428. More information is at the website www.sheringham.respondersuk.org.