Port fund set up after man died suddenly is close to to buying its first defibrillator

Falmouth Packet: Port fund set up after man died suddenly is close to to buying its first defibrillator Port fund set up after man died suddenly is close to to buying its first defibrillator

A fund set up in memory of a Porthleven man who collapsed and died suddenly is close to buying its first defibrillator for the port.

Retired maths teacher Mike Edwards died on May 4 this year, following a series of heart attacks in which the last proved fatal.

His wife Joyce started a Defibrillator Memorial Fund in his name, for which £600 was raised in a retiring collection at his funeral.

Since then funeral donations have been pouring in and by the end of June the fund stood at more than £2,000 - although it is hoped even more can be raised.

Mrs Edwards said: “Due to the manner of his passing I would like people to join me in contributing to a memorial fund for Mike to buy a defibrillator, which will be available for both visitors and the local people of Porthleven.”

Due to their specific requirements, however, the equipment that Mrs Edwards - together with family friend David Roome, who has joined the project - is looking at buying costs £3,000 per defibrillator.

This is because each one comes housed in its own temperature and humidity controlled cabinet - and it is hoped three can be bought, so that one can be placed on each side of the harbour and another on an upper level of the village.

Boots Pharmacy in Fore Street has already been approached, about allowing the first cabinet to be placed on the wall in Shute Lane.

The cabinet itself is unlocked by the emergency control room upon receiving a 999 call to the ambulance service, while the machine gives spoken feedback such as “go faster” or “push more firmly” to show the effectiveness of the CPR being carried out. The equipment would be available 24 hours a day.

Annual maintenance of each cabinet and defibrillator costs £360, inclusive of VAT, and it is this that Mrs Edwards and Mr Roome visited Porthleven Town Council about last week, in the hope members would agree to cover the annual costs.

However, while supportive of the project, councillors had reservations over the cost of each defibrillator and the amount for maintenance.

Councillor Mark Berryman described the project as “fantastic,” but said: “I would wish to put a blanket on it, but the prices quoted here are out of kilter with many others being fitted and used in Cornwall.

“Other councils are putting in machines for £1,000 to £1,500 without maintenance costs.”

There was some debate over whether the defibrillators needed maintenance, with mayor Daniel Williams saying the didn't and Mr Roome saying if it was damp or cold the battery would run down making it useless.

Councillor Alan Jorgensen said: “I'm all for this, but Id' like to make a request to ensure that we as a council are getting value for money for the people of Porthleven. Some more research and look at other suppliers and perhaps come up with alternative costings?”

Mr Roome said they would consider the request, but “might choose to go with it our way.”

Comments (1)

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8:10am Wed 16 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

This is an excellent idea and would certainly be a lasting tribute to Mr Edwards.
This is an excellent idea and would certainly be a lasting tribute to Mr Edwards. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 2
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