As we look forwards to 2018 it would be remiss of me not to look back at 2017, and to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your help.
A year ago Droitwich AED was a one man band (me) with an idea that we should be able to help West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) save local lives by providing 24/7 Community Public Access Defibrillators (CPADs) and training in their use. At that stage we had very little money to do anything about it, and Droitwich did not have any CPADs. We became a registered charity in March, and are now a small group of unpaid volunteers working to provide CPADs and train people in their use free of charge.
Our initial aim is to locate CPADs about half a mile apart so that, in an emergency, nobody in Droitwich will be more than a quarter of a mile from one. At that saturation they should start to become effective in saving some of the 25+ local people a year who do not survive cardiac arrests for want of prompt CPR and defibrillation. At a meeting I had with WMAS in November they said that we would need 30 units to cover the town.
Since February 2017 we have sited seven new CPADs in and around Droitwich, and brought out another three existing NHS defibs into external cabinets to make them CPADs. Independently from us five other CPADs have also been sited by the Tennis, Cricket and Rugby Clubs, Morrisons Supermarket and Crumps Funeral Directors, and there are currently at least two other locations fundraising to get CPADs. We also have another three CPADs imminently in the pipeline, which hopefully will be sited this month, and are trying to agree that at least another two NHS defibs currently “behind locked doors” can be brought out as CPADs as soon as possible. If you know of any other defibrillators in town that we might be able to bring out as CPADs please let me know. It is obviously a much more effective use of your donations and grants to do this rather than fund a complete new installation.
A year ago we didn’t have any CPADs in Droitwich, we now have 15 and counting! If you want to find the nearest one to you download the “Crowdsav” app onto your phone and tap “Locate AED”. This is a free app that works on GPS and will tell you where every registered defib in the world is if you keep scrolling down long enough. You never know when this app might help you save someone’s life. Tell all friends and family to download it as well, you never know when they might save yours!
We run free Basic Life Support courses (BLS) on the first Friday of each month if you want to learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator. Whilst you don’t need to be trained to use one, as they give full voice prompt instructions, you can deploy a defib about 30 – 45 seconds faster if you know what you’re doing. That time difference might save someone’s life. Additionally we run certificated one-day Emergency First Aid Courses (EFW) which we ask for donations of just £30 per delegate (See attached A4 sign) All donations go towards providing and maintaining CPADs. Please ask for more information and joining instructions if you are interested in either.
In conclusion, thank you again for your help in achieving the above. I hope you and yours all have a Happy and Healthy 2018.
Chair of Trustees.