Ruling on defibrillators to make a life saving difference

Defibrillator installed at Stones Methodist Church, Ripponden. From the Left, Hazel Brindle from the Rotary Club of Sowerby Bridge, Andrew Smith from the church, John Spikings from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, councillor Jayne Smith from Ripponden Parish Council and councillor Melvyn Smith JP from Ripponden Parish Council.
Defibrillator installed at Stones Methodist Church, Ripponden. From the Left, Hazel Brindle from the Rotary Club of Sowerby Bridge, Andrew Smith from the church, John Spikings from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, councillor Jayne Smith from Ripponden Parish Council and councillor Melvyn Smith JP from Ripponden Parish Council.
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Life saving equipment will become more accessible to people in Calderdale under plans being considered by Calderdale Council.

The adults health and social care scrutiny panel put forward recommendations that defibrillators in Council buildings should be relocated to the outside of the properties.

The Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club gave a presentation to the panel and how they have raised money to provide defibrillators in the community.

Ms Hazel Brindle, President Elect, Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club, Mr Andrew Bateman, President, Halifax Calder Rotary Club and Mr John Spikings, Community Defibrillator Trainer, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) attended the meeting and presented reports detailing their partnership working in installing 14 defibrillators in Sowerby Bridge and ongoing fund raising and work to install defibrillators in the Halifax area.

During the discussions, council officers explained that whilst many council buildings were equipped with defibrillators, they were kept within the buildings and could therefore only be accessed during office hours.

Members felt that the council should take a lead and therefore, where possible, move their defibrillators to an externally mounted position to provide constant availability.

Mr Spikings advised that a map could be made available for public and private units that could include where private defibrillators were located inside buildings, such as doctor’s surgeries and dentists.

Organisations have been encouraged to relocate the devices to the outside of the buildings, housed in cabinets, so they would be available for use outside ‘office hours’.

It was also recommended that , subject to acceptable cost, councillors should be trained in the use of defibrillators.

The panel’s recommendations were discussed at Cabinet and Leader of Calderdale Council, Councillor Tim Swift said: “We welcome the recommendations of the Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel and will now investigate further how we can make sure that our defibrillators are easy for the public to access.”