We’ve got a defib, have you?

West Midlands Ambulance Service tell us about the importance of defibrillators.

With more than 2,400 defibrillators housed at a variety of locations across the West Midlands you’re never too far away from one of these little life-saving boxes.

Automated External Defibrillators come in many different makes, colours and sizes but all do the same thing and are extremely easy to use.

As part of the WMAS Mend a Broken Heart campaign to coincide with Valentine’s Day, we interviewed five people who house a defibrillator what they think about their life-saving device and hear from a patient who survived a cardiac arrest.

Philip Gillings is a parish councillor in Clive, Shropshire. Their village has housed a defibrillator in a red telephone box for a number of years. Philip said: “The defibrillator tells you what to do, stage by stage, you can almost not go wrong.”

Rikki Chamberlain works for Beaudesert Park Campsite in Cannock and has been trained in how to use the device. Rikki said: “We run around 50,000 activity days per year and we want to be better prepared to deal with any emergency that may arise.”

Chris Kowalik is a member of Bewdley Rowing Club in Worcestershire who decided to house a defibrillator after witnessing a fellow rower suffer a cardiac arrest. Chris said: “We’re the first club in the West Midlands to house a defibrillator on its premises and we hope many more rowing clubs will follow suit and do the same.”

Adrian Jackson from Boxleys Butchers in Wombourne has housed a defibrillator for a couple of years. Despite it leaving it’s box on the front of the butchers to a lady who had collapsed, it thankfully wasn’t needed. Adrian said: “We’re only too pleased to have it on the front of the building. Nobody should be afraid to use it.”

David Hofton from Hunters Estate Agents in Knowle said: “The benefit of having it right in the middle of the high street is that if anybody ever had a problem we could hopefully get to them within seconds.”

Ian Hough, a keen rower, is a member of the Stourport Boat Club and suffered a cardiac arrest during the Stourport Regatta in 2011. He thankfully made a full recovery and was the inspiration behind Bewdley Rowing Club getting a defibrillator. Stourport Boat Club is also due to house a defibrillator soon. Ian said: “I’d recommend anybody who can get hold of these defibs to put one in place somewhere.”