Diss Rotarians succeed in drive to bring community defibrillators to town

Diss Rotary Club president Heather Babb and Diss Town Council leader Graham Minshull unveil the new public access defibrillator at Jewson Ltd in Victoria Road.

Diss Rotary Club president Heather Babb and Diss Town Council leader Graham Minshull unveil the new public access defibrillator at Jewson Ltd in Victoria Road.

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Vital life-saving equipment designed to aid the general public in a medical emergency has been installed in Diss for the very first time, thanks to a Rotary-led fundraising drive.

Three community public access defibrillators are now in place — two in Victoria Road, at the Methodist Church and Jewson Ltd, respectively, and one at Adkins Opticians in Market Hill — after Diss and District Rotary Club identified the need for the units and gathered funding from local businesses and the public.

Kept inside yellow vandal-proof lockable containers, the defibrillators are accessed by calling 999 for the code, and each unit is automated to talk the user through how to use the device, while support is provided by the 999 operator until an ambulance arrives.

Heather Babb, president of Diss Rotary Club, thanked the Community Heartbeat Trust, the East of England Ambulance Service and the First Responders Group in Diss for their assistance in implementing the project.

She said: “This project, to support the local community, is an example of one of the key objectives of our Rotary Club and I am thrilled that all three of these defibrillator units are now in active service.”

Graham Minshull, Diss Town Council Leader and a District Councillor for the town, said: “I am so pleased to see community minded individuals and businesses coming together to deliver this initiative of the Rotary Club of Diss and District providing these much needed defibrillators in the town.

“Everyone involved deserves a big thank you.”

The Rotary Club and the Community Heartbeat Trust will also be holding Community Awareness Seminars on how the defibrillators work, with the firstset to take place at the Diss Methodist Church on January 24, 2017.

For more details or to book a place on the seminar, please contact Ken Chapman by emailing kchapman717@gmail.com

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