Eight potentially life-saving defibrillator stations are set to be finally installed by the end of the week – after years of fund-raising.
Former Fylde mayor Coun Heather Speak and a group of community volunteers have raised £6,500 to pay for the vital devices.
It is absolutely fantastic that the borough of Fylde will be able to reach them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.Chris Hyde
When fundraising efforts began in 2012, there were no defibrillator stations at all across the borough.
But by the end of this week, eight defibrillator stations will be installed for people to access across Fylde’s “hotspots” which attract the highest amount of footfall, including one in Kirkham and two in Wesham.
The defibrillators are designed to be simple to use – a member of the public can ring 999 and be given a code to operate it. The device itself contains written and voice-recorded instructions on how it should be used.
Coun Speak, councillor for Newton with Treales, said: “These defibrillators are absolutely brilliant, right from the start they tell you what to do, step-by-step.
“They will not work until you have done exactly what it tells you.
“They really can be lifesavers and there are hundreds, probably thousands, of people around today who would have died without a defib.
“If it can save just one life then this will have been well worth it.”
The idea came after she spoke with health chiefs from the North West Ambulance Service and after seeing the high profile on-pitch incident involving Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during an FA Cup tie, but was kept alive by a defibrillator.
The hope is that the installation of cabinets across the borough will prevent tragedies such as the sudden death of St Annes teenager Luke Rutter, who in 2010 collapsed with heart problems on a tennis court.
Chris Hyde, North West Ambulance Services community resuscitation manager for Cumbria and Lancashire, has praised the new devices.
He said: “It is absolutely fantastic that the borough of Fylde will be able to reach them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“People used to have to rely on gaining access to defibrillators at work or at school which would mean access was limited.”
Mr Hyde believes that the mass installation across the borough could be vital in saving someone’s life.
He added: “Seventy per cent of cardiac arrests happen outside the hospital, in homes or out in public, so the strategic placement of these defibrillators certainly minimise the risk of death.
“These defibrillators are easy to use and do not make mistakes, they save lives.”
Coun Speak has been in consultation with ambulance services on where best to position the life-saving devices.
And Mr Hyde confirmed that planning has now begun for a number of training sessions to take place this summer for the public.
The defibrillators will be installed at Market Square, Kirkham; Wesham Community Centre; Glamour Pooch, Lytham Road, Wesham; Treals CE Primary School; Bluecoat Primary School, Newton; Lytham Library; at the Taxi rank in St Annes Road West, St Annes; and St Annes ‘dome’, outside the Subway sandwich shop.