Solar Gates UK has funded and installed a community defibrillator, paid for from our scrap metal recycling. We have fitted it after one of our colleagues asked us to, following the death of her friend.
Claire Bennett, our production supervisor, lost her friend on Christmas Eve last year. She had gone into cardiac arrest and whilst Claire was able to use a defibrillator on her until paramedics arrived, her friend could not be saved. Glad she had access to a defibrillator to be able to do all she could to help, Claire asked us if we could fund and install one on our premises – and so we now have it by the front door, ready to be used by anyone who needs it.
She is hoping that ours, which cost £980, will inspire other businesses to also provide one so that a defibrillator is never far away, should it be needed. Claire has always had an interest in First Aid – first training as a teenage Sea Cadet and later as an RAF electronics technician, police officer and ambulance worker. And she’s used her skills many times over the years in her career – but only once on someone she knows.
When she started with Solar Gates in August 2020, she refreshed her First Aid training to remain qualified. After her friend died, she decided to take it a step further and request the defibrillator be installed at Solar Gates. She said: “For some people, a defibrillator could be the difference between life or death. If more workplaces are able to host them, then there will be a higher chance of one being close by if it is needed. “They can be used by anyone, because they are built with very good instructions, pictures and voice commands. It won’t shock someone if they don’t need it, so even if you’ve never had training, or feel unsure, just get hold of a defibrillator, get it on them and have it ready – those could be precious and vital moments until paramedics arrive. “Sadly, I wasn’t able to save my friend but I know that I couldn’t have done more to save her – if I hadn’t had the defibrillator and had only done CPR then I always would have wondered if she could have survived.”
Neil Sampson said: “When Claire asked us to fund and install the defibrillator, we said yes straight away. “We’re behind her in encouraging other businesses across our area and wider afield to also install them, because the more there are, the closer one will be if it’s needed to save a life. “We’re pleased we have one – we hope it will never be used but it is ready if it is needed, for our staff here or someone else.” Claire also wants people to find out where their nearest defibrillator is to their home or work. She said: “Knowing where your nearest one is rather than having to find out during an emergency could buy you a few more minutes. “Hopefully one day, it will be very close by if it’s not already.”
If you’re in an emergency situation and need a defibrillator, call 999 and speak to the ambulance service who will tell you, from their register, where the nearest one is. If it is locked in a case, they can also give you the code to open it quickly and easily. You can find your nearest defibrillator here: https://www.defibfinder.uk