The Community CPR Fund and Calderdale Council have teamed up to install new defibrillators across the borough, to help increase the survival rate if someone has a cardiac arrest outside of hospital.

The Council worked with Neil Davidson from the Community CPR Fund to identify where they were needed most, and gifted 10 defibrillators to local organisations that support the Healthy Holidays programme. As part of the scheme, run by the Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale, the venues provide free activities and nutritious food during the school holidays, for pupils who are eligible for free school meals.

Neil Davidson, the founder of the Community CPR Fund that is held by the Community Foundation for Calderdale, helped the Council to install the defibrillators and provided training to the organisations on how to use them.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, fewer than 1 in 10 people who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital survive. Defibrillation within three to five minutes of collapse can give survival rates of up to 50-70%.

Neil said: “The defibrillators have been installed to benefit everyone in our community and help save lives.

“Shortly after the defib was installed at Cross Lane School, a resident in a nearby care home needed a defib, and it was great that it is close to them and could be accessed. We will be funding CPR training for community groups and are working with Simon Ferris from Flat Stan First Aid.

“It’s been great to see a collaboration between Calderdale Council, myself, Simon Ferris and Mark Farrar at WEL Medical, and what’s even better is that we have plans to continue working together in the future to install more defibs and provide more training with the ultimate goal of increasing a person’s chances of survival if they have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital.”

Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, added: “We are delighted to have played a part in boosting people’s safety across Calderdale by gifting this lifesaving equipment to community organisations supporting the Healthy Holidays programme, which didn’t previously have a defibrillator nearby.

“Once again, we are seeing Calderdale’s kindness in action, with the Community CPR Fund providing free first aid training and awareness, and local Healthy Holidays providers supporting families outside of school term time.”

Photo: Neil Davidson, Jess Heald (Calderdale Council’s Healthy Holidays Coordinator), Simon Ferris and Mark Sharp with one of the newly installed defibrillators.