Lifesaving defibrillator equipment has been installed in Sidmouth High Street after the town rallied to find a suitable location.
The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) equipment can be found on the side of the Masonic Lodge after the town’s Freemasons answered a call to help from the Devon Air Ambulance, when the charity ‘struggled’ to fit the public defib outside their Church Street shop.
The air ambulance charity and Freemasons teamed up with town council to fit the machine after it was found a defibrillator was most needed in the High Street and All Saints Road areas of Sidmouth.
Toby Russell, from Devon Air Ambulance, said: “Quick intervention really does make all the difference for someone in cardiac arrest and early CPR and using an AED is something we can all do to help save lives before the emergency services arrive.”
“Having a good network of AEDs in the community gives bystanders a potentially lifesaving piece of equipment that is proven to increase someone’s chance of survival.
“We are very grateful to Sidmouth Masonic Lodge and Sidmouth Town Council for their help with this project, which has brought a new AED to this busy part of Sidmouth”.
Devon Air Ambulance said it ‘struggled’ to fit a defibrillator for public use outside its Sidmouth charity shop.
After liaising with the town council to find a suitable location for the lifesaving equipment, it was found there was a ‘gap’ in AED provision in the area of the main high street, around All Saints Road.
Businesses were invited to help and the Freemasons ‘quickly’ gave ‘full backing’ and plans began to install the defibrillator on the side of the Masonic Lodge building.
Roger Horton, Master of The Lodge of Perseverance, said: “Freemasons are always keen to help and support the local community.
“The masonic hall management committee were very pleased to agree to the defibrillator being sited on the building to extend this emergency facility to this part of the town.”
Devon Air Ambulance said the installation of the new defibrillator in Sidmouth was part of the charity’s work to reduce deaths through cardiac arrest – the most common medical incident its crews attend.
Councillor Chris Lockyear, Chair of Sidmouth Town Council, said: “The provision of defibrillators in the town continues to extend and is an important part of the town infrastructure.
“I extend my thanks to the Devon Air Ambulance and the Masonic Lodge for helping this project come to fruition.”
In the last year, the Devon Air Ambulance Help with all your Heart campaign has resulted in a series of CPR and defibrillator training days throughout the county, including one held at Sidmouth Rugby Football Club.