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First gym backs Mail lifesaving defib campaign

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 29, 2014

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BOSSES at a Burton gym have been the first to throw their weight behind the Mail’s campaign to get lifesaving equipment installed in fitness centres across the area.

Senior figures at Branston Golf & Country Club, based off Fairway, stressed the ‘vital’ need for defibrillators to be put in place and for staff to be trained on how to use them after reading the tragic story of Burton man Brian Judd.

The 64-year-old was left brain dead and remains critically ill in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest while working out at a local gym.

His family decided to team up with the Mail to campaign for every gym in Burton and South Derbyshire to install a defibrillator, a device that could have drastically improved Brian’s chance of survival.

Now, health bosses at Branston are doubling their efforts to make sure staff are ready for action if a member or guest suffers a heart attack anywhere on the club’s premises.

Simon Wheatcroft, manager of the club’s gym, said: “Already we have one of these life-saving units on order and are just waiting for training dates so that our professional, highly qualified instructors can add this speciality to their existing first aid qualifications and be ready to treat any emergencies while waiting for the paramedics and ambulance to arrive”.

“Now that the Mail has highlighted this need we’re pushing the training providers for an urgent date.”

Significantly, Branston has a team of professionally qualified fitness instructors on site from 6 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 7 am to 10 pm at weekends who, together with its first aiders, will be able to attend any emergency right across the club’s 148 acre site .

Ben Laing, Branston’s managing director, said: “In addition to our members and their guests, we have many members of the public attending functions in our spectacular Pavilion and learning to play golf so its important that everyone knows we can look after them in an emergency.”

Branston have now joined a list that includes the likes of town MP Andrew Griffiths and national charity the British Heart Foundation in backing the Mail’s campaign for every fitness site in the area to install a defibrillator and train staff on how to use it.

One of the area’s top doctors has also decided to back the campaign.

Burton-based GP and chair of East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Charles Pidsley said that installing more of these devices in gyms will give anyone who falls ill a ‘much better chance of survival’.

He told the Mail: “The faster someone is defibrillated after cardiac arrest the better their chances of survival.

“By increasing the amount of defibrillators installed in public places and members of the public trained in their use – as well as in basic life support techniques - people who suffer cardiac arrests will have a much better chance of survival.”

A defibrillator enhances a person’s chance of survival from five to 50 per cent.

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