The Banbridge community has helped provide a life saving piece of equipment at Campbell’s Eurospar at Scarva Street in the town.
The defibrillator, which can be used to give a high-energy electric shock to someone suffering cardiac arrest, is situated outside the store and is accessible 24/7 for members of the public to use should the need arise.
For three months the store raised £1,500 with the help of the community as part of the Henderson Group’s Heart of our Community campaign, aimed to educate the public on the importance of CPR and early defibrillation and install over 300 defibrillators across towns in Northern Ireland.
The staff at the Banbridge store raised the money for their device by a bucket collection in store, a coffee morning held in the Old Town Hall and a raffle organised by one local customer, Jimmy Thornton.
The defibrillator at Campbell’s Eurospar is automatic, so no training is required for use. As soon as it is activated, the user will be talked through the process by the machine and the Ambulance Service operator on the phone.
Brian Campbell of Eurospar said; “We cannot thank our shoppers and the wider public enough for helping us raise the money for this extremely important piece of equipment.
“This defibrillator is for the public. We know that our town can be a bit safer now that we have it, and while we hope it doesn’t get used too much we are glad that it is there should somebody ever need the help.”
If a member of the public sees anyone who is in a cardiac arrest, it is essential they phone 999 immediately, begin CPR compressions, then use a defibrillator
The campaign was launched in October 2015, with the full backing of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and Dr Michael McBride, Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, who commended the initiative which complements the Community Resuscitation Strategy the department launched in 2014, with the aim of improving the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by promoting lifesaving skills to the public.
Henderson Group developed a website, www.heartofourcommunity.com, that provides information about the campaign and list stores taking part in the initiative.