New defibrillator in old phone box unveiled on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds
A new life-saving defibrillator – housed in an old telephone box – has been officially unveiled in Bury St Edmunds town centre.
The device, which can administer a high-energy electric shock to the heart to someone who is in cardiac arrest, is based inside the traditional red telephone booth on Angel Hill.
The piece of life-saving equipment becomes the third to be installed in the centre of Bury alongside defibrillators at the Arc shopping centre and outside McDonalds.
Cardiac physiologist Caroline Pryke was invited to attend the unveiling ceremony after saving a man’s life in the town in February.
Mrs Pryke, who works at West Suffolk Hospital, was out shopping in the town with her family when she spotted a crowd of people and jumped in to administer CPR.
The defibrillator from the Arc was accessed during the incident but not used as the ambulance crew had arrived.
She has since called for more people to learn the skill and is currently working to bring more CPR education courses to the town and surrounding areas.
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“The community having easy access to such an essential life-saving piece of equipment is fantastic,” she said.
“They are so easy to use and anyone can follow the instructions to potentially save a life and give someone the best chance of getting into hospital.”
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The latest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on Angel Hill was funded jointly by Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds and Bury St Edmunds Town Council.
Businessman Paul Hicklin, who also attended the unveiling, has been campaigning for 24-hour public access defibrillators since his father suffered a cardiac arrest and died in 2012.
Mr Hicklin’s family and friends have raised more £12,500 and previously helped to fund the other defibrillators in the town.
He said: “It’s great to see one here. It’s really about raising awareness of where they are so people know where they can get one.”
The phone box was purchased from BT by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Damien Parker from the authority said it was “the perfect use”.
For details of first aid training organised by Our Bury St Edmunds contact Mike Kirkham on 01284 766258.