Full credit for the below article goes to https://www.qlocal.co.uk/ormskirk/

Pictures taken by AEDdonates Electrician

Rufford’s brand new defibrillator is now live!

And it’s a dream come true for Angela Bruce-Konuah who campaigned long and hard for the new facility on Highsands Avenue after her mum Joan died of a heart attack prompting her community campaign which came to fruition on Friday.

Click here for QLocal’s exclusive story in June: https://www.qlocal.co.uk/ormskirk/news_list/How_Angela%27s_hoping_to_ring_the_changes_in_Rufford%21-55038781.htm

It’s seen help from a whole host of locals including Rufford PC, Jones Homes, a good Samaritan who made a wonderful donation of £1,000, Douglas Valley Lions, Rufford Lodge Freemasons, Tesco Bags of Help, Rufford WI, AEDdonate, and local residents.

Said Angela: “I was very lucky to come across Darren Helm of New City Cleaning, Lostock Hall, Preston, who was godsend. He arranged for the phone box to be sandblasted at a fraction of the cost. Darren is pictured with his team.

“And Gareth Whittle of Gareth Whittle Brickwork, Hesketh Bank has also been a godsend. He has donated his time for free not only to remove all the glazing which proved to be a challenge in itself as the phone box was in a very sorry state of repair having been neglected for years. He also also helped to glaze the phone box and replace the door.”

Civil servant Angela – best known in Ormskirk for her work with the town’s Army Cadets – came up with the idea of converting the phone box on Highsands Avenue into a defib. station after seeing an article about a phone box in Chorley that had been converted.

“The idea appealed to me because my mum passed away from a cardiac event and I felt that this was a fitting way to honour her memory. Even though she could not be saved, it would be fantastic if her legacy was to save others from a similar fate.

“I’d also read of BT’s plans to decommission these across the country due to their reduced use as people are using mobiles more. And I also love the idea of saving the phone box from being decommissioned as it is part of our heritage and adds character to the village.

“Rural areas across the country are forgotten when it comes to the availability of defibrillators; ironically after I adopted the phone box BT sent out notices for the phone box in Rufford and the ones in Burscough to advise that they were being decommissioned. I had already adopted the box by this time!”

AEDdonate helped getting the project off the ground and they supported her with the campaign – an external AED package (total price) is normally £1,999 but AEDdonate agreed to contribute £500 towards the campaign with money donated to AEDdonate funds by Tesco Bags of Help.

Angela started her campaign for the Highsands Avenue defibrillator in May 2019, contacting every local organisation she could think of to see if they would contribute, utilising the local community pages to spread the word and the Nextdoor app.

“I approached the Parish Council who agreed to contribute £450 towards the campaign. And I was shocked to receive a £1000 donation from a good Samaritan in the community within hours of spreading the word.

“It filled me with hope.

“I also had collecting tins at the Boathouse cafe at Rufford Marina, The Hesketh Arms and at Fearns Farm.

Angela’s also been instrumental in raising funds for another defibrillator at the Methodist Chapel in Holmeswood.

“I jumped at the challenge because I knew it would benefit the community. I approached AEDdonate again and they agreed to donate £500.00 towards this campaign. The parish council donated £450 toward the campaign. Again I was blown away by the generosity of another good Samaritan in the community who donated £1,000.00 towards the Holmeswood defibrillator. With just these three contributions I had reached my target for a second local defib!”

Jones Homes also came up trumps with a contribution of £500.00 for the maintenance of the Rufford defibrillator, mainly to replace the batteries.

“I was hoping that this campaign would inspire others to do something similar in their local communities and I was very pleased to be approached by Julie Hughes for advice on how to go about raising funds for a defibrillator on Rufford Park Lane. She did a great job and one was installed in October 2019. I hope that others are inspired to consider doing something similar in their community.”

Angela’s next step is to make available some first aid training for anyone in the community who would like take part.” Interested? Contact her via e mail: clionabkd@yahoo.co.uk

*A defibrillator gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time and following the four steps in the chain of survival can help to increase the patient’s chances of survival: Call 999, Commence CPR, Early Defibrillation, Early Advanced Life Support

Defibrillators are easy to use and come with either verbal or visual step by step instructions. The machines are designed to be used by anyone with or without prior training. Anyone needing a defibrillator should call 999 in the first instance and the call handler will advise where the nearest one is and how to access it.

If effective CPR and a defibrillator can be applied within the first 3-5 minutes of collapse the chances of survival for the victim can increase from 6%-74%. Without immediate treatment, 90%-95% of patients will die.