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'Shocking' first for Helston shopkeepers
12:00pm Sunday 18th August 2013 in News
Helston has become the first town in the country to be given defibrillators for its shops.
The arrival of the two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) follows months of training organised by the Healthy Helston group, which is part of the Helston Business Improvement Partnership.
Its members, along with 30 other traders and members of the public, were trained by the British Heart Foundation on how to use the equipment, as well as lifesaving skills, before passing on this training to other volunteers in the town.
Now the group, led by Michelle Wootton, has been presented with not one but two defibrillators, after the British Heart Foundation decided to grant an additional unit to the one funded by Helston BIP.
It means one can be kept in the centre of town, in the Angel Hotel – where the Heartstart training sessions are carried out – and the second at the bottom, at the Lakeside Café in Coronation Park.
Both units will be available to use by members of the public in an emergency, as well as the staff at each of the businesses who are being fully trained by the Heartstart programme.
Chris Ring, Healthy Helston chairman, said: “Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest and fighting for their life is crucially important. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by ten per cent. Therefore, for Helston to provide the free community training and to house two available AED units ensures that we are providing a safer environment for our local community and visitors.”
He added that Helston was the first town to be granted AED units not housed in public sector buildings, such as council offices.
The Heartstart training course takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at the Angel Hotel, starting at 6pm. Training is free and lasts approximately two hours.
The Healthy Helston group is also running an outreach training programme. Anyone who would like to book a free training session for a community group or business, or who would like to take part in the monthly training sessions, contact email@example.com.
The Helston BIP has thanked Mr Ring and Ms Wootton for their work, together with the team members of Healthy Helston, the British Heart Foundation for providing the initial training, equipment, defibrillators and support, and the Angel Hotel for providing a free room for the monthly training sessions.
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