To celebrate Breathe Holistic Therapies tenth anniversary I am planning a fantastic community project. My mission is to raise awareness in Kidderminster, Worcestershire of the use of automated defibrillators and their locations. I have organised many reflexology fundraising days but this time I'm marking ten years with something different.
Automated defibrillators save lives, but generally people are not aware that anyone can use them or of their locations. I want to help my local community to learn more about them and encourage local businesses/organisations who have automated defibrillators to promote their locations. Automated defilbrillators are known as EADs (emergency access defibrillator) or PADs (public access defibrillator).
I have a passion for this as I have twice witnessed collapses and not known where to go in order to access a potentially lifesaving defibrillator. I know in one case I ran completely the wrong way and from that day decided the community need to know where to access automated defibrillators.
There are many statistics about the benefits of early defibrillation, but statistics can't compete with seeing someone receiving CPR, knowing an automated defibrillator may save their life but not knowing where to find one.
I want to promote the display of window signs, as shown above, indicating the location of automated defibrillators. I am taking my campaign to the local council and MP to encourage the development of universal location signs to be displayed along with other town signage, e.g. sign for the nearest defibrillator with distance indicated alongside signs for toilets and parking etc. I would ultimately envisage everyone finding their nearest defibrillator to home and work as a routine thing just as you may notice your nearest post box.
My mission is in line with many charities such as the St Johns ambulance, Hand on Heart, Heart Safe and BHF. The British Heart Foundation are campaigning for universal signage and a country wide data base of all automated defibrillators. Heart Safe have developed a map displaying defibrillators to enable people to perform a post code search, but most are not listed so currently this system is unfortunately not working. The St Johns Ambulance has introduced the CARE campaign encouraging people to find their closest automated defibrillator and stressing the importance of early defibrillation. All of these and similar initiatives are brilliant but ultimately a universal method of locating needs to be developed.
I have a twitter @mylocaldefib from which I will encourage local organisations to list their defibrillator on the heart safe map as well as displaying window signs and location signs in their building. I am hoping local media will assist me in publicising this quest and helping me to make my community and eventually everyone defib savy!
If you would like to become involved with my campaign please do contact me I will look forward to hearing your input.