THERE was another landmark event being celebrated at Burdwood Surgery on Saturday.
The Heartstart Thatcham team unveiled its 50th public access defibrillator outside the surgery, with surgery partner Dr Michael Morgan cutting the ribbon on the life-saving device.
Heartstart Thatcham worked with the Co-operative store (in the Broadway), which earlier this year chose the charity as the recipient of its Local Community Fund.
The fundraising allowed the team to visit many local Co-operative stores and talk to not only staff, but also to customers – helping to raise awareness about what the team do and the importance of defibrillators and CPR.
Part of the funds raised have been used to help place public access defibrillators within the local community.
Scheme coordinator for Heartstart Thatcham Dr Nick Young said: “We have placed defibrillators throughout West Berkshire and beyond.
“In this instance we have had the pleasure of working with the Burdwood Surgery in Thatcham.
“The device is available around the clock and helps protect local residents as well as businesses.”
Heartstart Thatcham showed lots of people how to perform CPR and use the defibrillator at Burdwood on Saturday.
The team also pointed out the difference between a cardiac arrest and heart attack and said that a defibrillator should only be used during a cardiac arrest.
Dr Young also urged businesses and organisations to register their devices with the ambulance service as this could save lives.
“The 999 call handler will tell you where the nearest defibrillator is and how to access it,” he said.
“Also, remember cardiac arrest does not discriminate and can happen to anyone; young or old, healthy and fit or otherwise.
“Defibrillators are used in conjunction with CPR to give someone suffering a cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.”
The defibrillator is the 50th device that the team have helped to install, following the first device which was unveiled at the Henwick Worthy Sports Ground in October 2014.
The installation of the device at Burdwood follows the ones installed by the team over the summer in Padworth, Stanford Dingley and Midgham.
Stanford Dingley residents had theirs placed in a disused phonebox, which also acts as a library housing books for local residents to swap.
It is the first of Heartstart Thatcham’s defibrillators units to be placed in a phonebox.