A lifesaving defibrillator has been installed in a hotel at The Wrekin tourist spot after a general manager died when there was no medical equipment nearby which may have saved his life.
The AED (Automated External Defibrillator) at the Buckatree Hall Hotel, at the foot of The Wrekin, has been supplied by SP Services, a Shropshire emergency medical equipment supplier, and is to help both walkers and hotel guests who have a cardiac arrest.
It has been installed to coincide with Re-Start a Heart Week, an education campaign run by health organisations on October 16.
Buckatree Hall Hotel general manager Wayne Jenson said it was a tragic event in which a close friend and colleague died after a heart attack at one of their sister hotels in Cumbria which spurred them into action to ensure it was not repeated in Shropshire.
“We are a hotel with a heart, a hotel that serves the local community and believes in paying back to that community,” he said.
“The Wrekin is a popular landmark with locals and tourists and Buckatree Hall Hotel plays a vital part in the area. It is inevitable that from time to time people will be taken ill on the hills and this defibrillator may save lives.
Wellington Rotarians, who meet at the hotel every Friday lunchtime, agreed to pay half the costs with the remainder paid for by the hotel. Guests have also played their part to boost the charitable cause by making donations for second hand books supplied by Jane Jina,(correct) the wife of the hotel’s financial controller, as part of the fundraising campaign.
“A defibrillator can save lives. There are a number of organisations which meet at the hotel regularly and we are all of an age where someone may need it. We also want hotel guests and hikers in the area to know that there is a defibrillator nearby,” said Peter Williams, President of Wellington Rotary.
He said that SP Services, a Shropshire emergency medical equipment supplier, was called in to supply the device because of its expertise.
An AED gives a high energy electric shock to the heart to help revive someone who is in cardiac arrest.
Paul Watts, of SP Services, of Hortonwood, Telford, said it was vital that those on the scene first dial 999 and then start CPR to keep the blood flowing around the body before using the defibrillator.
“They are easy to use and give audio and visual instructions on what to do in case of an emergency,” said Paul, whose company recently supplied the Border Force with AEDs at ports and airports across the UK.
He urged people to enrol at free CPR and AED training sessions as part of Restart a Heart Day which aims to teach lifesaving skills.
The British Heart Foundation say that out of 30,000 cardiac arrests which happen each year to people not in a UK hospital, only 3,000 people survive, fewer than one in ten. More than 50 per cent survive in Seattle and Norway where citizens are CPR and AED trained.
A father recently revived his 15-year-old son, who had collapsed on a school playing field, just two days after he helped install a school’s defibrillator.
While Alison and Kevin Cooney are campaigning for the Government to legislate for defibrillators in all schools, leisure centres and public places after their 28-year-old son Tom died during a rugby match.
“Tom might still be alive today if there had been a defibrillator at the sports club he was playing at,” said his mother.
There are 4,500 defibrillators in the West Midlands area.