New defibrillator installed in Suffolk village

Back row left to right: Paul Luke, parish councillor for West Stow and campaigner Paul Hicklin, fron

Back row left to right: Paul Luke, parish councillor for West Stow and campaigner Paul Hicklin, front row left to right Susan Glossop, borough councillor, Joy Childs, parish council chairman, and Rebecca Hopfensperger, county councillor Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS - Credit: Archant

A new piece of life-saving equipment has been installed in a village near Bury St Edmunds after funding from councillors.

The new defibrillator at the community hall at West Stow means residents have direct access to the device in an emergency.

It is the second defibrillator to be installed in the parish, with one already in place at Culford.

The device and installation was paid for through locality budget funding of £500 each from borough councillor for West Stow Susan Glossop and county councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger as well as £666 from the parish council.

Businessman and campaigner Paul Hicklin, who has been helping communities install defibrillators since the death of his father, was also part of the initiative.

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Locality funding is where councillors can use money allocated to them to support projects and community groups in their area.

Mrs Glossop, who represents West Stow, Wordwell and Culford as well as Flempton, Hengrave, Ingham, Lackford and Risby, said: “I was really pleased to be able to support bringing this vital lifesaving equipment to West Stow.

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“Having community defibrillators in rural areas and villages are vital and can be the difference between life and death for someone. By listening to and working with the community we have been able together to fund this and other local projects that will make a real difference to residents.”

Mrs Hopfensperger, who represents the area as part of the Thingoe North Division, said: “Helping make this type of initiative happen is what our locality budgets are about.

“It was good that local councillors and councils could come together with the community and make this happen. While I hope it does not need to be used it is good to know that a life may be saved or people given treatment until the ambulance arrives.”

Joy Childs, chairman of Culford, West Stow and Wordwell Parish Council, said: “This is the second defibrillator that we have installed in the parish and we hope to put a third at Wordwell.

“It is easily accessible on the outside of the community hall and it is registered with the ambulance service when anybody calls them. I would like to thank everyone involved who has made this possible.”

Following his dad’s death, Paul Hicklin, who lives in Bury, has been campaigning to see 24-hour public access defibrillators in town centres and other locations to help people in cardiac arrest.

“The evidence is clear that following a sudden cardiac arrest the use of early defibrillation significantly improves the person’s chance of recovery,” he said.

“Survival of a sudden cardiac arrest depends on a series of critical links that together form the chain of survival.

“This includes ringing 999, early CPR to maintain blood flow and early defibrillation to re-establish the heart’s natural rhythm. I was delighted to work with the local councillors to install this vital equipment for their communities.”

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