Easington Village Parish Council, working in partnership with Durham County Councillors Angela Surtees and David Boyes, Village News owners Jack and Elizabeth Lee, North East Ambulance Service and East Durham Area Action Partnership, have been able to install a defibrillator in the heart of Easington Village.
Steph Lee approached County Councillors Surtees and Boyes, initially as part of a community fund raising campaign. Both Councillors agreed that this initiative was something that they would help to fund. Contact was made with the Parish Council who co-ordinated the project and applied for funding for the defibrillator and cabinet. Steph’s parents Village News owners Jack and Elizabeth Lee kindly agreed that it could be installed outside their shop and also paid for alterations to the outside of the building so the defibrillator and cabinet could be installed.
Funding applications were made to East Durham AAP and the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and successful grants were obtained for the defibrillator and cabinet. Free training on using the defibrillator will be provided by NEAS.
Having access to a defibrillator within 3–5 min of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 50–70%. This can be achieved through public access defibrillation and when a bystander uses a nearby AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) to deliver the first shock.
Each minute of delay to defibrillation reduces the probability of survival to hospital discharge by 10% so every minute is vital in ensuring that the patient is given every chance of leaving hospital.