Hopton villagers fund their own public defibrillator

Stuart Turner and some of the Hopton villagers who funded a public defibrillator ANL-150519-224131009
Stuart Turner and some of the Hopton villagers who funded a public defibrillator ANL-150519-224131009

Hopton village is now a safer place thanks to the fund raising efforts of its residents.

The village has raised nearly £4,000 to buy a defibrillator and a cabinet to keep it in on the wall of the Cost Cutter shop in the centre of Hopton.

Stuart Turner, who organised the effort, said: “I’m a volunteer Community Responder and over the last few years I’ve attended numerous heart related calls. I can’t be available all the time but now there is a back-up in the village.

“It’s a starting point to ensure communities are protected 24-7, as much as they can be. It’s treatment in the first few minutes that improves a person’s chances of survival.”

The defib went live last Thursday and Stuart is now planning a series of community familiarisation sessions, including one at the pub, so that villagers know how it works before they have to use it in an emergency.

The machine Hopton has bought not only gives spoken instructions, it also shows pictograms illustrating points such as where to place the defib pads on the chest.

Stuart said the easily accessible location was important to ensure it was of the most use. It is on the main road through the village, which is also part of a walking and cycling route and is near the village school, church and businesses.

The money was raised through a variety of events and includes a £475 local grant. They are also applying for a Community Heartbeat Trust grant.

Anyone dialling 999 following a cardiac arrest will be given a code to punch into the defib charging box’s keypad lock. The person then uses it under the advice of the ambulance controller and the defib’s own instructions, while a First Responder and paramedics are sent to the scene.

Click here for our feature and video on how to use a defib.