Hemlington residents benefit from lifesaving equipment | News

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Hemlington residents benefit from lifesaving equipment

Partnership between Middlesbrough Council, Habinteg, Swift-Tees running club and North East Ambulance Service has successfully installed a new community defibrillator.

A new community defibrillator has been installed at Habinteg’s Hemlington housing scheme. This vital facility is provided through Public Health (Middlesbrough Council) funding and can be accessed as a first response to cardiac arrest before an ambulance arrives.

After the defibrillator installation Michael Elvidge from North East Ambulance Service provided training and CPR demonstrations to children and adults from the local Swift-Tees running group, so they could act quickly in an emergency.

Richie Andrew, from Public Health Middlesbrough Council, is responsible for defibrillator planning for Middlesbrough. He and Rosanne Lightfoot, founder of Swift-Tees, have worked closely with Habinteg scheme staff and North East Ambulance Service to ensure that the local residents have access to a defibrillator.

Richie Andrew said:

“There are three sides to public health; one is protection – for example having defibrillators in place so that they are available if someone does have a cardiac arrest.

“Then there’s the service improvement part of it, which is about putting health on everyone’s agenda and making sure they have the skills, resources and standardised evidence based approaches to work with.

“The other side to it is actually about lifestyle choices and prevention; so regular exercise, physical activity and eating healthily, in order to minimise the risks of a cardiac arrest happening in the first place. This approach includes awareness, health promotion, establishing community links and the training provided by North East Ambulance Service, for example.”

Keith Tynan of Habinteg said:

“We are grateful to have such an important community resource installed at our housing scheme, and really appreciate the hard work of everyone involved.

“Swift-Tees running group is a great way for our community to keep fit and meet new people, and it’s great to see so many people engaged.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Middlesbrough Council and North East Ambulance Service in future, and are pleased to be able to work towards wider public health outcomes for Hemlington residents.” 

Swift-Tees is a free community running group which started out as just eight people, but now has over 300 members. As a community support group, they are committed to helping people improve their health by making running a social activity that's accessible to all.

Rosanne Lightfoot of Swift-Tees running club said:

“The reality is cardiac arrest could happen to anyone, which is why it’s so important to have a defibrillator here, at Habinteg, in the centre of Hemlington. We have a lake, there are runners, dog walkers, shops and a school, in the middle of a housing estate which includes older and disabled people.

“The defibrillator is available 24/7 and it could save someone’s life.”

Michael Elvidge of North East Ambulance Service said:

“A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, irrespective of their age and lifestyle. The earlier CPR and defibrillation begins, the better a person’s chance of survival as the potential for brain damage increases the longer the brain is starved of oxygen. It really can save someone’s life and it regularly does.

“It’s great to see another defibrillator being installed in our local community. I hope it is never needed but if it is, at least we know that person has been given the best possible chance of survival.”

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