Yaxley fire station defibrillator ready to save lives

A donor who helped provide funds for a defibrillator at Yaxley Fire Station hopes it will help save lives in the village.

There are approximately 60,000 out of hospital Cardiac Arrests per year in the UK. Statistics show that if a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, survival rates increase from 6% to 74%. Without immediate treatment, 90-95% of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims will die.

Yaxley's defibrillator is now the second one in the village and sits on the outside wall of the newly-redeveloped fire station. The first is at the doctor's surgery in the village.

The unit, which is worth just under £1,500, was provided through a grant applied for by the Parish Council and funds donated by the Fenland Trust, with further support from 'Defibrillators for Farcet and Yaxley.' a non-profit charitable based organisation.

Gemma Saunders founded the organisation just over a year ago after her son, who was then six, collapsed at home having suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.

"This defibrillator will give the communities an improved chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest.

"You don't have to be trained. A member of the public can use it. The machine talks to you and has flashing pictures to show you how to use it. You attach pads to someone and the machine monitors you as you do CPR and decompressions. It then analyses what you have done and whether or not you need to do it again or if you need to give the patient a vital shock.”

Yaxley Watch Commander John Cox said: "It's an honour to be able to accommodate this defibrillator on the wall of our newly-developed fire station. It means we are able to offer and assist the local community with essential medical provision."

Parish Council Vice Chair Rodney Butcher said: "Yaxley Parish Council is extremely pleased to be on board with such an initiative which is providing vital life safety equipment within the village. It is hoped that further defibrillators can be invested in to enhance the provision of the entire village."

Ambulance crew from the East of England Ambulance Service will be showing people how to use a defibrillator at some training sessions next month (November). The sessions are free and open to anyone who wants to attend. 

The first session is at Farcet Salvation Army Hall in Field Terrace on November 6, between 4pm and 6pm. The Yaxley training session will take place at Pooley Hall in Main Street on November 17, between 6pm and 8pm.