Pete Fields from NEAS is pictured with, left to right, Joan Ayre, Ainsley Rea and club chairman Bill Leathard

Drive to save lives at golf club with help from NEAS

Life-saving defibrillator handed over

Members of The Hobson Golf Club are getting into the swing of life saving after installing a defibrillator at the club house.

The club, in Burnopfield, has raised around £1,000 for the life-saving equipment with technical support from North East Ambulance Service and local charity North East Hearts with Goals.

It held a launch event on 6 March.

Defibrillators are installed in busy public places, such as leisure centres and shopping centres; there are currently at least 97 sites throughout the North East, with staff trained by NEAS to respond and use them in the event of an emergency.   Not all organisations declare they have a defibrillator on site, there could potentially be more. 

There are a further 63 community public access defibrillators installed in communities throughout the region, which are available for members of the public to use in an emergency once they have called 999.

Pete Fields, Community Resuscitation Training Officer, is part of the Community Resuscitation Team at NEAS, which works closely with communities to empower them with the knowledge they need to be able to save a life should they be faced with an emergency.

Pete has been working closely with the club and has already provided training for 12 first responders.

He was on hand at the launch event to provide information and training.

He said, “When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their heart is beating erratically. A defibrillator sends out an electrical shock to the heart, which momentarily stops the heart with the aim of bringing it back to a normal rhythm.  The defibrillator automatically detects whether it is needed, meaning anybody can use it.  The sooner defibrillation begins, the better the patient’s chance of survival.

“If that process can be done while the ambulance is travelling to the scene, with the community playing their part, this is wonderful as the patient receives the best care available, which increases the chances of a positive outcome.

“Having a defibrillator available at the golf club is an excellent resource for people in the area.”

North East Ambulance Service community resuscitation team regularly goes into schools and organisations, delivering education and awareness sessions – from providing information about defibrillators of teaching them how to carry out CPR – and works with the trust’s 120 Community First Responders, who respond to incidents on the trust’s behalf.

The idea of installing the defibrillator was the brainchild of club member Ainsley Rea.

He said: “We frequently see ambulances speeding past the course on their way to an emergency, sirens blasting.

“I believe strongly in community spirit, everybody helping each other. This equipment could possibly help someone.”

The club also used the launch event to promote the use of ICE (In Case of Emergency) cards, where members can store their emergency contact details on a small credit-card sized plastic card.

Joan Ayre, a Director at the club, said: “Ainsley has worked hard, with my assistance, on this project since June.

“The installation of the defibrillator is not just for the members but also the community. Hopefully no one ever has to use it, but if we do, I hope it saves a life.

“Donations have been gratefully received from members and other various sources. I would like to thank the 12 responders for giving up their time to receive the necessary training.”

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