Matlock could now be one of the safest towns in Derbyshire as you are always 500m from a defibrillator thanks to the installation of five new devices.
The Community First Responders (CFR) scheme in Matlock have installed five defibrillators across the town since October to make sure that residents and visitors to Matlock will have the best possible chance of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest.
CFRs are volunteers who give up their spare time to attend appropriate emergency calls in their own community. Because they are based in the areas they support they are often able to arrive before the ambulance crew and provide early intervention to help a patient They are dispatched by the EMAS Emergency Operations Centre.
When someone calls 999 for a patient who is in cardiac arrest, the emergency call handler is able to direct the caller to the closest defibrillator and will instruct them on how to use it. All publicly accessible defibrillators also give audioable instructions to talk the user through how to use it.
Gavin Cantrill, 33, EMAS dispatcher and CFR, installed the latest device earlier this week, explained that they decided to install defibrillators in tribute to the founder of the Matlock CFR group, Terry Gregory, who died last year.
Gavin, who has lived in Matlock for 27 years, said: “We want to give people in Matlock the best chance of survival if they go into cardiac arrest, and the aim was to make sure everyone was within 500m of a defibrillator.
"For every minute that passes without defibrillation a person’s chances of survival can decrease by up to 10%.
“Particularly in rural areas, early defibrillation is absolutely vital while the patient waits for the ambulance to arrive. The sooner you attach a defibrillator to someone, the better their chances of survival.”
The devices are now situated at:
- Raft restaurant and Fishpond pub
- Cavendish Playing Fields
- Long Meadow Residential Home
- Barringtons restaurant in Darley Dale
- Sherriff Lodge Hotel
Funding for the first three devices came from Matlock CFR, and then the British Heart Foundation paid for the last two defibrillators.
The five new defibrillators join the ones at the Fire and Rescue Service station in Matlock, and the clubhouse at Matlock Town Football Club. More information about becoming a CFR is available here