Defibrillator funding scheme opens for applications
Applications are now being taken for a funding scheme to help roll out life-saving defibrillators across West Oxfordshire.
West Oxfordshire District Council is giving every town and parish council the chance to get up to £900 (around 50% of the total cost) towards an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to serve local communities.
The £27,000 scheme was announced in January and the Council has already been contacted by interested communities. Town and parish councils can now officially apply to receive the funding towards an AED and storage box, which normally costs a maximum of £1,800.
The Council has contacted local parish and town councils directly and applications to the scheme should be made by 30 April.
AEDs are proven to dramatically increase the chances of survival in cases of cardiac arrest and the District Council has launched the scheme in conjunction with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).
It complements a generous donation from an anonymous donor who has given enough funding to pay for devices to be fitted in 24 of the District’s towns and parishes. There are 54 towns and parishes in total and the Council funding will help the remaining 30 communities purchase their own.
Cllr Mark Booty, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “There has been an awful lot of interest in this scheme and we are extremely pleased to now be in the position to get the ball rolling on it.
“I would urge towns and parishes to grasp this opportunity. These devices can mean the difference between life or death, particularly in rural areas like ours that are affected by ambulance and emergency response times.
“If every community takes up this offer of an AED, along with those so generously donated, we believe West Oxfordshire will have the highest level of defibrillator coverage in the country, making it one of the safest rural communities to live if you suffer cardiac arrest.”
AEDs from the anonymous donor have already been installed in Bampton, Carterton, Cassington, Chadlington, Combe, Finstock, Enstone, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Stonesfield and Witney. Other communities that are due to receive donated devices are:
· Brize Norton
· Long Hanborough
· Minster Lovell
· North Leigh
· Stanton Harcourt
Dick Tracey, divisional responder manager for SCAS, said: “When someone goes into cardiac arrest time is of the essence. For every minute that passes where there’s no active treatment, the chances of a successful resuscitation reduces by 10%.
“Having these machines, particularly in the villages, will significantly increase chances of survival.”
Under the scheme, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training will be provided in association with SCAS to communities and local people will be trained to give initial care should a cardiac arrest occur. However, it is important to remember that the AEDs can be used with no previous instruction or training as the equipment is designed to tell users exactly what to do at the time of use.
Further information about the scheme is available at: www.westoxon.gov.uk/residents/leisure/health/defibrillators/
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