Tue, 29 Aug 2017
A DEVICE to help save lives has been installed in Thatcham town centre.
Heartstart Thatcham unveiled its 49th public access defibrillator outside the public toilets in the Broadway last week.
Scheme coordinator Dr Nick Young said: “Thatcham has two public access units in the town centre and would like to see more.
“The easier and faster units can be accessed the more lives can be saved.
“We would like to place another unit in the High Street to ensure easy access within the town centre.”
The device was funded from developers’ contributions in conjunction with Thatcham Town Council, which owns the toilets.
Defibrillators are used, in conjunction with CPR, to give someone suffering a cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.
Heartstart Thatcham said it wants to see at least one defibrillator in each community and every school.
Its 50th defibrillator will be officially unveiled in Thatcham next month, with number 51 to be installed in Newbury soon after.
Heartstart Thatcham installed its first public access defibrillator in October 2014 and the team are all volunteers.
Speaking at a meeting earlier this year, Dr Young said that a device was outside Waitrose, but added that it was too far away from the Broadway and High Street should an emergency arise.
Discussions are under way to install another defibrillator in High Street, but Dr Young said that it needed to have easy access, have an electricity supply and preferably be at the western end.
However, he said it could not block the public highway and the team would like to avoid listed buildings where possible.
Dr Young called on businesses and community groups with defibrillators to register their devices with the ambulance service.
He said this would ensure that someone dialling 999 in an emergency requiring the device could be directed to the nearest unit.
“Defibrillators that are not registered could have made a difference in a life-threatening cardiac arrest,” Dr Young said.