New community defibrillator for Sidbury

Campaigner John Rush with the new defibrillator outside Sidbury Village Hall.

Campaigner John Rush with the new defibrillator outside Sidbury Village Hall. - Credit: Archant

Sidbury has a new community defibrillator – but the man behind the campaign to fund the lifesaving kit hopes it never needs to be used.

The portable piece of equipment can be accessed in an emergency and talks the user through the resuscitation process, giving vital support until paramedics arrive.

It has been installed at the village hall after a campaign to raise the £2,500 needed led by committee member John Rush.

He said: “Automatic external defibrillators can play an important part in saving lives in cases of sudden cardiac arrest and I am pleased that Sidbury has been added to the list of locations in East Devon where these devices are available for public use.

“When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, minutes matter, you need to be able to do things before the ambulance arrives.

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“I hope nobody in Sidbury ever has to use it, but if just one person’s life is saved, it will have been worth the effort.

“I should like to thank Councillor Claire Wright, Cllr David Barratt and Sidmouth Town Council, the Sidbury Fair Committee, the Sidbury Marquee Committee and all those members of the public who generously donated the funds to enable this project to go ahead.”

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The campaign started last summer, when a village hall committee member noticed that community defibrillators are commonplace elsewhere in the country, but less so in East Devon.

There are now two others in place in the Sid Valley that are accessible 24-seven – in Market Place and at Sidmouth Cricket, Tennis and Croquet Club.

A series of awareness sessions in Sidbury Village Hall, to explain how defibrillators work and how to use them in an emergency, are being planned and will be advertised shortly.

Funding is still needed for these sessions and for spare parts for the defibrillator.

To help out, call John on 01395 597289.

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