Horsington’s campaign to install a defibrillator in the disused phone box has been successful in raising enough money for the project to go ahead. A last minute grant of £850 by Somerset County Council, negotiated by Councillor William Wallace, tipped the balance.
Funding has also come from South Somerset District council (£750), the Lions club (£250), from various fund raising events, including a projected donation from the music and craft festival.
It is not just a question of buying the defibrillator. The machine has to be installed, the phone box needs refurbishing, electricity has to be paid for, and the local VETS (Village Emergency Telephone Service) set up and maintained. This last item is fundamental to the success of the operation . It rings all the volunteers simultaneously, and the first one to pick up can accept or refuse the callout. It goes on ringing all the others until there is a positive response. VETS can be used for any medical emergency, not just heart attacks.
Charles James, who has masterminded the project, reckons that with a donation from the music and craft festival, there will be enough money to carry out all this work and run the VETS system for up to 4 years.
The Defibrillator will enable emergency treatment for heart attacks for most residents of the Horsington area (Including the Cheritons and Templecombe) within 5-10 minutes. Research shows that the quicker the treatment, the better the outcome. The difference can be dramatic.
Seven volunteers have come forward to operate the system. More are needed. No medical training is necessary, but of course anyone with relevant experience is welcome.
To volunteer call Charles James on 371166.