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Lifesaving firefighter secures Cullompton defibrillator
9:00am Sunday 15th September 2013 in Mid Devon News
A FIREFIGHTER from Cullompton whose quick thinking saved a man's life at a charity football match has helped the town secure its own life-saving equipment.
Cullompton Town Hall is now equipped with a defibrillator thanks to a project driven by Chris Richards, who saved the life of Paul Tapp when he collapsed during the match in March last year.
Chris, who runs his own first aid and safety training company, so happens to carry a defibrillator in his car and was providing first aid cover at the match and used the defibrillator to resuscitate Paul.
He said: “Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest is crucially important - 95per cent of people who have a sudden cardiac arrest die from it, most within minutes.
“When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%.
“An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and, if needed, it sends an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.”
Following his heroic life-saving actions, retained firefighter Chris won the Community Hero category in the 2012 St John Ambulance First Aid Awards.
The AED was bought by Cullompton Traders Association and the public access box was purchased and installed by Cullompton Town Council.
The box has a keypad lock, the code for which can be obtained from the emergency services by dialling 999.
Cullompton Town Clerk Nina Ashley said a free training evening will be held on Tuesday, September 17 from 6.30-7.30pm for anyone interested in learning how to use this vital equipment.
She added: “Even if trained personnel aren't available, untrained people also can use an AED to help save someone's life.
“The use of an AED on a person that has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest can increase their chance of survival by up to 40%.”
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