Seaford Town Council has been busy supporting the town's campaign to identify and map the town’s provision of (AED) defibrillators with vital assistance from The Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Rodney Reed and the Mayor’s Charity Project. The campaign set out to increase awareness about the importance and installation of defibrillators in areas that are accessible 24 hours a day and to signpost to their locations. A higher survival rate post-cardiac arrest, outside of a hospital setting, is more likely among patients who receive bystander CPR combined with therapy delivered by a Heart Defibrillator within the first 3 minutes after a Cardiac Arrest.
The initial scope of the project performed by Seaford Rotary was to identify and map the town's publicly accessible defibrillators. To find out which ones were in working order, in need of repair or replacement.
Seaford Town Council hopes the wider initiative of the campaign will extend the coverage of this lifesaving equipment to public places that currently have none readily available. As well as providing opportunity and motivation to local businesses and groups, in the hope to move defibrillators from inside, to the outside of their premises, to provide additional 24/7 availability.
COVID impacted the speed at which the project could take place, but with the support from the Mayors Charity Project and Seaford Rotary, the main initiatives of the campaign are near completion.
The Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Rodney Reed is very passionate about this Charity Project. It is with great excitement that the Mayor would like to announce the imminent placement of two new externally mounted 24/7 defibrillators. One is funded by NP&S Lions for Broad Street and the other, also an exterior mounted unit, by Life Church Seaford, in Steyne Road.
The Mayor is quoted as saying - "It’s vital that we know where to find the nearest defibrillator (AED) and that if we are told by a 999 operator to use it, that it’s in full working order. My Mayor's charity project supported Seaford Rotary identifying and mapping Seaford's publicly available defibrillators and also a local volunteer's initiative to have funds available in Seaford for defibrillator maintenance including repairs, spares and replacement batteries. That several donors came forward offering defibrillators for parts of Seaford without any nearby was a real bonus for our town."
As the campaign draws to a close, the initiative will continue to move forward. The information from the mapping will be linked with a new charity fund established (Seaford Defib Guardians) to accept donations in order to regularly maintain all the 24/7 accessible defibrillators in Seaford.
The Rotary Club of Seaford Martello Trust Fund have agreed to hold donated funds for defibrillator maintenance and will actively encourage ongoing donations, led by volunteer Greg Anderson - “As a Park Runner I recognised that two of the three defibs on the Seafront were not in working order. As a local business owner, I realised the reason was because there were no funds available for replacement batteries and other maintenance costs. The cost of batteries and replacement parts not only blocked maintenance of the existing 24/7 defibs but also discouraged additional AEDs from being placed. So, I identified Martello Rotary as a charity willing to receive and hold donations as a ‘defib maintenance fund’ and I will now begin to encourage donations into that fund. My thanks to the Mayor for his support and encouragement and for including my ‘defib maintenance project’ in his ‘Mayor’s defib charity”.
Clive Livingston of Seaford Rotary about the ongoing project included - “Seaford Rotarians have identified the sites and the condition of the 24/7 publicly available defibrillators in Seaford and we are pleased that our Mayor has supported us in this. We intend to commission and issue a map, to most households, showing these defibrillator locations. Seaford Rotary Club is also working to install signs along the promenade to direct people to the nearest defibrillator. Our Rotarians have contributed their time and the Club is donating the significant funding needed for this mapping and 24/7 defibrillator signposting”.
The generosity of the Seaford community over several years has provided the town with community defibrillators. The ongoing defibrillator maintenance fund, to be held by Martello Rotary, should overcome the challenges of having funds readily available for ongoing maintenance. The kindness of donors coming forward to fill defibrillator gaps within the town will mean more people are within a life-saving distance of these important pieces of equipment. Finally, publications both online and offline and their listing with SECAMB and the British Heart Foundation will help to increase awareness of the 24/7 accessible defibrillators available to the Seaford community.
A final note, always dial 999 and let the Emergency Service Operator direct you to your nearest available defibrillator IF they recommend you use one.