Forecourt retailer Sewell on the go has taken additional steps to support its local communities after installing defibrillators at all 13 of its sites.
The installations have seen the business invest a total of almost £15,000 in the lifesaving devices, which give a high energy electric shock – or defibrillation – to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.
The defibrillators are positioned inside the store at each site and can be used by members of the community, or Sewell on the go staff, who are also familiar with the machines. Staff have received basic training as a precaution, although it is not essential to be able to operate the defibrillators.
All Sewell on the go sites are open 24/7, 365 days per year, meaning they are an ideal place for such a resource within the communities they are based in.
David Craven-Jones, Operations Director at Sewell on the go, said: “We’re delighted that every one of our sites now has its own defibrillator for use whenever it is needed.
“You do not need to be trained to use a defibrillator and they are easy to use, as they give clear spoken instructions for whoever needs to operate one, ensuring a shock is not given unless it is needed.
“As we are a business which wholeheartedly believes in giving back to the communities we serve, we want people to know these defibrillators are here for community use, and we’re open around the clock every day of the year, so anyone can come and get them at any point.
“In the past, we have had a baby born on a forecourt, people go to filling stations if they have an issue, for fire extinguishers, or if they are lost for example, and having defibrillators is in keeping with this community ethos.
“You just never know what’s around the corner. Defibrillators are becoming more widely used and can save lives, so our sites are safe places to have them. They are reset and checked whenever they are used.”
Sewell on the go has supported its local communities for many years, including making all of its 13 sites ‘safehavens’ for Fitmums and Friends, which organises sociable and supportive running and walking groups run by volunteers.
Members can use Sewell on the go sites to fill up on water, use the toilet, or stop for a rest while they are out completing their routes.
Sewell on the go has also recently raised £5,000 for Dove House Hospice in Hull, with staff organising various fundraising activities in-store and taking part in the charity’s annual It’s a Knockout event.
The business began to introduce defibrillators about two years ago and they have been called upon at some of its sites, including Chanterlands Avenue in West Hull, by members of the public since then.
Julia Nicholls, Sales Assistant at Sewell on the go Chanterlands, was involved in helping a man who had collapsed from a heart attack close to the store in July last year. Although the defibrillator was not needed, it was a close call before paramedics arrived.
She said: “The man was unconscious underneath the railway bridge near the store and I shot out with the defibrillator.
“A lady from the beauty shop further up the road was giving him CPR. But he was blue, didn’t have a pulse and I thought he had died.
“We both carried on administering CPR together and blew into his mouth. I moved everybody back ready to shock him with our defibrillator and the paramedics arrived at that very moment.
“Thankfully, they took over and the man slowly came round. Although our defibrillator wasn’t used on the man, it would have been used in that second had the paramedics not arrived and used theirs.
“The man has been back in to see us recently and he’s doing really well. This is a prime example of how defibrillators can save lives and why they are so important.”
Sewell on the go also recently donated a defibrillator to Case Training Services, a local Hull charity dedicated to the improvement of life choices for people with a learning disability through high quality training, support and employment opportunities.
Steve Rusling, Marketing Manager at Case Training Services, in Charles Street, Hull city centre, which celebrates its 35th anniversary next year, said: “We are so pleased to have the defibrillator because not only can we potentially help the people the charity supports, who are all local, vulnerable people with learning disabilities, it can benefit the local community at the same time.
“It is on the outside of our building and anyone can use it when they need it. They just have to ring 999 and Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be able to confirm the location of the nearest defibrillator, then provide an access code, and the instructions are clear.
“It’s a fantastic donation from Sewell on the go to a local charity and we wouldn’t have been able to get a defibrillator without their support. We’re really pleased it’s in place now and could help save a life.”
Dave Jones, Community Defibrillation Officer at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We’re delighted to hear about the generous investment in life-saving equipment by Sewell on the go in the Hull and East Riding area.
“Defibrillators can be used by anyone and we know that if we can get a defibrillator on someone within the first two or three minutes of a cardiac arrest happening, there’s about an 85% chance of survival.
“For every minute in time delay, not having equipment available and while the ambulance is on its way, they’ll lose somewhere between 7% and 10% of a chance, so having a defibrillator nearby in local communities can make a massive difference.”
[Gaby Fletcher – Sewell Group]