Wooler engineering firm donates defibrillator to community

A family firm has installed a state-of-the defibrillator on one of its buildings for the local community to use.

By Amanda Bourn
Monday, 28th June 2021, 10:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 2:00 pm
Gordon Wilson, Richard Wilson, Paul McKenna and Graeme Wilson of Glendale Engineering with the defibrillator.
Gordon Wilson, Richard Wilson, Paul McKenna and Graeme Wilson of Glendale Engineering with the defibrillator.

Glendale Engineering, based on the Berwick Road Industrial Estate in Wooler has spent £1,500 on the device, which does not require medical training to operate.

If needed, all a person has to do is inform a 999 operator that they wish to access it, and they will be given a code to unlock the equipment.

A computerised voice then provides step-by-step instructions on how to use it.

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Defibrillators are important because they substantially increase a patient's chance of survival. When a person suffers from sudden cardiac arrest, their life expectancy decreases by seven to 10 per cent for each minute which passes without defibrillation.

Paul McKenna, finance director at Glendale, said: “We decided to spend a bit of money on the machine because you don't want to be cutting corners on something like a defibrillator.

“We also wanted to make it available for everyone to use, so it has been placed on a wall as soon as you enter the industrial estate.

“Once a person has been given a code by a 999 operator to unlock the box, they will be talked through how to use it step by step. You don't need any medical knowledge or experience.”

Mr McKenna said Glendale, which was established 37 years ago and employs 60 people, was keen to “give something back” to the Wooler community.

It already sponsors the local football, cricket and golf club, but wanted to provide a defibrillator after the owners’ father, John Wilson (90), was saved by one.

He had a heart attack while in Milfield Village but was resuscitated thanks to a machine installed at the Red Lion pub.

"The same piece of kit has gone on to save two more lives, including that of a man in his 20s earlier this year.

Mr McKenna added: “These machines are incredibly important in rural communities.

"We wanted to give something back to the community which saved grandfather John's life, so we decided to put our hands in our pockets and buy something which we believe is really worthwhile.”

Glendale Engineering is owned by Gordon and Graeme Wilson and turns over around £9million a year.