Video: Campaign launched to show people defibrillators are easy to use

(from left) Chris Potts, Steve Fursse, Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, Eve Potts

(from left) Chris Potts, Steve Fursse, Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, Eve Potts - Credit: Archant

A Colchester man whose life was saved when quick-thinking colleagues used a defibrillator is backing a new campaign from the ambulance service.

Steve Fursse, 65, was clinically dead when he collapsed at work last year.

His story is now told as part of the Their Life, Your Hands initiative from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

The campaign focuses on defibrillators installed in the community which are housed in special cabinets. They can be accessed in emergencies by any member of the public who will be given a code upon calling 999.

Although a lot of work has been done installing the kit, the initiative is now encouraging people not to be afraid to use them and to learn where they are in their community.

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Dan Turner, ambulance officer and coordinator of the Their Life, Your Hands project, said: “There are more than 300 community public access defibrillators across the region, often in rural communities, but not everyone knows what they are, where they are located or what to do with one in an emergency.

“Just as many people were uncomfortable in doing CPR a few years ago, we now see many people who are not fully comfortable in using defibrillators and there is a fear that they can cause harm if used incorrectly, which is not the case at all.

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“Defibrillators will increasingly play a vital role in saving large numbers of lives. We would urge everyone to watch the video and log on to our website to find out where their nearest one can be found.

“The message is really simple – you can save a life.”

The campaign has been backed by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary First Aid Group.

Sir Bob, who features in the campaign video, added: “We must never think the community is separate from the professional medics. People need to know where all the emergency equipment is and defibrillators should be regarded as an item of emergency equipment.

“You hope you never need to use it but you know where it is should you ever have to. People should have no fear of using a defibrillator – you take it out of the pack, turn it on, and then it’s all voice activated.

“It is as easy as ABC.”

To find out more visit the campaign website.

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