Emergency lifesavers

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A charity funding lifesaving equipment around Rye, has installed its twentieth defibrillator. Rother Responders, which also recruits volunteers to help the emergency services, has put in the kit at Sutton Industrial Park on Sea Road in Winchelsea Beach. The vital work of the charity in helping people suffering a cardiac arrest is featured on this week’s Ryecast.

Forty people learnt how to use the defibrillator at an event outside Suttons Fish Shop on Monday, June 24. With a real defibrillator and a plastic dummy visitors were taught how to follow the instructions given by the machine, and how to look after a patient having a heart attack.

Caroline Solly from Rother Responders says it’s all about making more people more confident in using the equipment. “When you call 999, the ambulance service will tell you where to find a defibrillator. We just want more people to know how to use it. There are so many around Rye and not just ours. You’ll find them in places like the station, sports clubs or a local pub.”

As well as helping local people to use the kit, the charity also recruits volunteers to be first at the scene of a heart attack, often arriving ahead of the emergency services. “We’re trained by the NHS and each volunteer has all the equipment to provide lifesaving care before an ambulance can arrive.”

On top of advice about how to use a defibrillator, the session at Suttons also included instructions on how to apply chest compressions to help regulate breathing. The machine provides a rhythm, which First Responder Sally Savory says helps guide what you’re doing. “You’re looking to deliver between 100 and 120 compressions a minute to the patient’s chest. The machine tells you exactly what to do, so don’t be afraid”.

Rother Responders defibrillator at Sutton Industrial Estate Winchelsea Beach

The new defibrillator is on the wall by the industrial park entrance, opposite Suttons Fish Shop in Winchelsea Beach. Owner Una Sutton is impressed by Rother Responders skills. “They’re brilliant and the machines are amazing. We’re really proud to have it here.”

You’ll see Rother Responders at many local events demonstrating how to use the kit and raising funds to pay for more defibrillators. Each one costs £1,500 and then around £150 each year to maintain. The charity is also looking for volunteers to keep an eye of the machines to make sure they’re still in place and spot any problems. For more on the charity, and a full list of their machines, visit www.rotherresponders.org.uk.

You can hear more about the charity on Ryecast. Just search for Ryecast wherever you get your podcasts or visit www.ryecast.org.

Image Credits: James Stewart .

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