When a heart attack strikes, minutes and seconds count
Each year two million journeys begin and end at Liberation Station – a perfect location for a publicly available defibrillator for use in the event of someone suffering a heart attack.
Thanks to a very generous donation from legal firm Appleby whose offices are just across the road from the station, equipment was ordered and installed by the Jersey Heart Support Group. Before the defibrillator was officially unveiled it was called into use. Bus station staff found themselves dealing with a woman who was suffering from a suspected heart attack. Fortunately she remained conscious until ambulance paramedics arrived and the defibrillator was not needed.
Having worked closely on the project, Appleby and the Jersey Heart Support Group will arrange for additional CPR and AED training for Appleby colleagues and will also be inviting staff from Liberty Bus to join the training.
Andrew Weaver, Partner at Appleby commented “We are thrilled to be working with the Jersey Heart Support Group. The installation of the defibrillator and training of our colleagues has ensured that a defibrillator is accessible in the event of emergency, in a particularly busy area, and that there are a number of people nearby who are trained to administer CPR and use an AED. I am delighted that some of the team from Liberty Bus will be joining us for future sessions and would like to thank them for their help in arranging the installation of the defibrillator.”
Mike Strong for Jersey Heart Support Group commented: “The Jersey Heart Support Group is delighted to be working with Appleby as part of our local drive to make defibrillators more readily available on the Island and to ensure more Islanders are trained, potentially saving lives of residents and visitors.”
The Jersey Heart Support Group, is a local charity whose primary aims are to provide support to those affected by heart conditions, raise awareness of cardiac care in the community and to raise funds to help improve the cardiac facilities available on the island.
The incident above underlined how quickly first aiders have to react. Publicly available defibrillators are in a locked cabinet and to get the simple code to unlock it you have to make a 999 call. That ensures the first and most important step is made when dealing with a medical emergency – making sure without delay that professional help is on the way. The defibrillator is very easy to use and a recorded voice automatically tells you what to do. The equipment makes its own diagnosis of the patient’s cardiac condition and will not activate uneccessarily.
Minutes and seconds count when someone collapses with a heart attack and that’s why the Jersey Heart Support Group (JHSG) has been involved with a long-standing project to make defibrillators widely available. Our first provision of a defibrillator was to the Bouley Bay Dive Centre back in 2012, just a short time after the JHSG was formed. Our most recent installation at Liberation Station was the 53rd.
The Group has equipped 34 schools in the island with defibrillators, eight more carried by police response vehicles and two have gone to community first reponders.
In more recent times the emphasis has been on making the equipment publicly available 24 hours a day in cabinets like the one mounted on the outside wall of Liberation Station. We are dedicated to improving cardiac care in Jersey and hope that widespread availability of defibrillators will not only save lives, but also encourage first aid training and signal that Jersey is a caring community for residents and visitors alike.
St John Ambulance show how to use a defibrillator