Saffron Walden people keen to learn how to save a life

The defibrillator demonstration at Saffron Walden Town Hall

The defibrillator demonstration at Saffron Walden Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Around 150 members of the public got involved for a defibrillator demonstration at Saffron Walden Town Hall at the weekend.

Paul Doe, who ran the session at The Court Room, is the coordinator of Saffron Walden Community First Responders, a group of volunteers who respond to 999 calls in the town and surrounding areas on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service.

He said he was pleased with the interest in how to use the public access defibrillators they now have in the community.

They will be running another session on Saturday,(September 12) at the same venue from 8am to 5pm.

He is encouraging people to attend, even those who have done so before.


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Mr Doe, who is also an emergency care assistant at the East of England Ambulance Service, showed how to use the machine and how the machine works as well as how to put people into the recovery position and how to deal with someone choking.

It was also a chance for the volunteers involved to show others what they are doing.

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He added: “I was ecstatic. If one person from that goes away confident they can save a life my job is done.”

He said the oldest person who expressed interest in learning how they worked was a 78-year-old woman and the youngest was 12 or 13.

Essex has distributed 250 defibrillators in the community and public areas, of which eight are in the Saffron Walden area.

Plans are currently in progress to get a defibrillator into the phone box outside Saffron Walden library, subject to a planning application.

Mr Doe added: “A defibrillator is designed to provide emergency treatment to someone in a cardiac arrest situation.

“That works in conjunction with giving CPR.”

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