VISITORS and residents on Holy Island now have access to a life-saving device.
Charity Shocking Now! secured National Lottery funding to launch the first publicly-accessible defibrillator on Tuesday.
Their programme, with ongoing support from the North East Ambulance Service, enables islanders and visitors to use this technology themselves, thereby improving the survival rate of people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest by up to 74 per cent.
The island’s defibrillator is housed in a purpose-built, key code-secured box outside the Oasis Cafe in Chare Ends and can be accessed at any time by calling 999.
Sue Massey, who runs the cafe with husband Clive, is pleased to be hosting the defibrillator.
She said: “The island is sometimes difficult to access when help is needed fast. I can’t say we’re looking forward to using it, but feel we are completely prepared to when the need arises.”
David Draper, chairman of Shocking Now! stressed how easy the defibrillator was to use.
“Once you lift the lid, a voice tells you exactly what to do, but its life-saving shock must be delivered within about 12 minutes to be effective,” he said.
“I hope our installation encourages other rural communities in Northumberland to consider getting their own defibrillator to use whilst the ambulance is on its way.”
For more information on the Shocking Now! campaign to put defibrillators into villages, see www.shockingnow.org