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Paula raises funds for new community defibrillator

An advanced technician lead from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), has raised over £1,000 for a new community defibrillator at Lynch Lane Garden Centre in Weymouth.

Paula Long and her husband Trevor visited the Garden Centre on 16 April when Trevor suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and very sadly passed away at Bournemouth Hospital four days later.

The one piece of equipment that Trevor needed was not available; a defibrillator. When someone suffers a heart attack, or their heart stops beating for some other reason, the sooner CPR is started, and they are connected to a defibrillator, the better their chance of survival. For every minute’s delay, the chance of survival falls by 10%.

Following the sad incident, Paula – who has almost 22 years’ service with SWASFT – took it upon herself to raise funds for a new defibrillator to be installed at the site. With the help of her daughter, Paula set up a JustGiving page and raised over £1,000, which helped pay for the defibrillator, a plaque to honour Trevor’s memory, and a donation to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Charity.

The defibrillator and plaque were unveiled at the Garden Centre recently, where Paula was joined by members of the Trust’s volunteering and community services team including head of volunteering and community services Jane Whichello, Dorset community responder officer Dave Sale, and assistant community responder officer Hannah Butler.

Jane Whichello, said: “An important part of my role is to get as many, easy to use defibrillators, in as many easy to access locations as possible, and to help ensure that there are people trained to use them and to provide CPR when minutes matter.

“Paula has worked for the ambulance service for almost 22 years, helping us serve the public and save lives. I thank Paula for her courage and strength to have raised the money to enable us to place a defibrillator at Lynch Lane Garden Centre and give people, she may never meet, the gift of life.”

Learning CPR takes just a few minutes and could help the save the life of a friend or loved one.

If you see someone collapsed and not breathing normally, you need to start CPR to keep the patient alive until help arrives. Our Emergency Medical Dispatchers will help you with this when you call 999.

It takes a few minutes to learn CPR to help save a life, follow the link below to access content from the British Heart Foundation to learn more in just 15 minutes -

It’s important that everyone can access a defibrillator in an emergency. Find your nearest device before you need it by looking at the British Heart Foundation’s Defibfinder.

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South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: Donate to South Western Ambulance Charity | Give as you Live Donate