A Heartstart Scheme for Ribchester

Heart Start Scheme LogoThe Heartstart initiative is a programme aimed at significantly improving the chances of survival for people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community. The British Heart Foundation is a major leader in this initiative, providing and promoting Emergency Life Support (ELS) training.

Emergency Life Support is the set of actions required to help keep someone alive until professional help arrives.

  • Every year around 140,000 people in the UK suffer a heart attack
  • Many of these people then suffer a cardiac arrest and die before reaching hospital
  • Without resuscitation, cardiac arrest is always fatal
  • Performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR - chest compressions and rescue breathing) immediately can double the chances of survival

What does the Heartstart scheme mean for the community of Ribchester?

The Lancashire Heartstart initiative is being extended to include Ribchester. So far, phase one of the planned implementation is in place through the appointment of Colin Byers as a community first responder. Colin has qualified as a Heartstart instructor and complies with the Heartstart Child Protection (CRB) and Health and Safety policies.

Phase two of the programme involves securing funding for the extension of the Ribchester scheme, with a view to having two publicly available Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) located at strategic points in the village. As a community we need to raise funds to purchase and maintain the defibrillator at a cost to purchase each complete unit of £1350 + VAT.

And phase three of the scheme will see the delivery of the Heartstart courses to the community, either in groups, as family's or to individuals.

How will the scheme work in practice?

  • Persons within the community will have the training to carry out Emergency Life Support.
  • Two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will be located at strategic points in the village in code locked boxes.
  • If, on calling the ambulance service, a person reports any signs or symptoms of cardiac arrest or heart attack they would be given the location and lock code for the AED box.
  • Family or friends who have been trained to carry out Emergency Life Support would then be able to get the defibrillator from the AED box to use if the persons condition deteriorates before the arrival of the ambulance service.

Points to note:

  • Recipients of Heartstart training are placed under no obligation and use their training at their own discretion.
  • There are currently two community first responders located in the Ribchester area and they do not provide 24 hour cover.
  • Travel time for an ambulance to arrive needs to be accounted for.
  • The provision of the publicly available defibrillator in the AED box in addition to community training will ensure help is always available.

What do we need to do?

All Ribchester residents who share a vision of a place where lives are not needlessly lost in a community are invited to get involved by learning crucial Emergency Life Support skills and / or providing support in the raising of funds or donations to purchase and maintain two complete Automated External Defibrillators (AED + Box).

For further information and to register your interest, please contact Colin Byers on 07976 416905 or by email at C@byersc.freeserve.co.uk.