Royston defibrillator donations show ‘community spirit of town’

PUBLISHED: 18:05 03 July 2017

NatWest manager Penny Bullock, Royston Lions president Keith Collard and retired paramedic duty officer Rod Taylor with the new defibrillator in Royston town. Picture: Danny Loo

NatWest manager Penny Bullock, Royston Lions president Keith Collard and retired paramedic duty officer Rod Taylor with the new defibrillator in Royston town. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Royston residents are now able to access a life-saving device right next to a High Street bank thanks to a donation by a town organisation.

The new defibrillator is outside NatWest in High Street. Picture: Danny LooThe new defibrillator is outside NatWest in High Street. Picture: Danny Loo

The automatic external defibrillator was donated by the Royston Lions Club to mark umbrella organisation Lions Clubs International’s 100th birthday, and it is now available to use in an emergency after a collaboration between the charity, NatWest staff and the ambulance service.

Friends of Royston and District Healthcare has also donated two further machines set to be placed in the town in the coming weeks, one at Roysia GP surgery in Burns Road and anotherat a location unconfirmed.

Rod Taylor, a retired paramedic of 39 years, told the Crow: “The donations came about after we supplied AEDs to four North Herts villages – Reed, Rushden, Wallington and Sandon – last year. The Lions got in touch and said they want to donate as a celebration of their anniversary. Friends of Royston and District Healthcare also wanted to donate.”

The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically detects a life-threatening cardiac rhythm such as ventricular fibrillation, that delivers an electrical shock in order to restore a person’s heart to a normal rhythm.

Mr Taylor said: “If someone in town went into cardiac arrest and a person called 999 the call handler would know if there was a defibrillator nearby and would give them the code, which is voice activated and would tell them step by step what to do.

“It’s the 21st century equivalent of a first aid box, which most businesses and organisations would have and, as technology improves, these defibrillators get smaller and cheaper – and more become available.

“Now in countries in Europe, for example, lifeguards have defibrillators sent to them on drones.

“As a Royston resident, I am pleased to actively be involved in projects like this. The Royston community has always been supportive – I think it reflects the community spirit of the town that it’s not only for clubs or organisations but for ordinary members of the public to be able to access the live-saving defibrillator.”

Keith Collard, president of the Royston Lions Club, said: “On celebrating the cenentary of Lions Clubs International, and as part of their legacy, we are thrilled to be donating this defibrillator to the community.”

And NatWest branch manager Penny Bullock added: “We are delighted to be part of this project and absolutely thrilled to have this on our building for the townsfolk of Royston.”

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