‘Have a heart’ and get behind Mayor’s life-saving campaign for March

Mayor of March Rob Skoulding.

Mayor of March Rob Skoulding. - Credit: Archant

Today we are calling on March people to ‘Have a heart’ and back a new campaign aimed at making the town a safer place to live.

Mayor of March Rob Skoulding.

Mayor of March Rob Skoulding. - Credit: Archant

The Cambs Times is supporting calls by mayor of March, Councillor Rob Skoulding, to provide as many life-saving defibrillators as possible for March.

The ‘Have a heart’ campaign wants to emulate the Whittlesey-based ‘Defibs for All’ charity which has so far provided more than 23 across the town since it was launched early last year by Deborah Slator and her team. Now Mrs Slator is offering her expertise to help March follow in Whittlesey’s footsteps.

Mr Skoulding has made ‘Have a heart’ his mayoral charity and wants to make the town hall the first place to have a publicly accessible defib.

He is donating all money he earns as a Fenland district councillor to the cause and hopes that charitable organisations such as the Round Table, Lions and Freemasons will get behind the campaign.

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Mr Skoulding said: “A defib is a simple piece of equipment that can save a life if you can reach one quickly. It’s a startling fact that you can die of a heart attack within six minutes, which is why I want to ensure there is a defib within four minutes of wherever people are in the town.

“Whittlesey has over 23 thanks to Deborah and her team, and I want March to have at least the same number, if not more. They are simple to use, you don’t need training as the machines talk you through what you need to do.

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“I think the town hall would be a good starting point as it is the town centre; we can work out from there.”

Mrs Slator added: “We have held training sessions in all the schools in Whittlesey, which means every pupil knows how to use a defib, they really are simple to operate.

“People are often scared they could do harm by shocking someone who doesn’t need it, but the machine won’t work if a shock is not needed. You cannot hurt someone by using a defib.”

Every school in Whittlesey has a defib and Mr Skoulding hopes to achieve the same level of cover in March. He also wants businesses in the town that already have defibs to make them accessible to the public.

He said: “It would be great if businesses would allow their defibs to be kept in cabinets outside their premises, or if not that they would have a sign up to say they have one available for people to use.

“We could get large areas of the town covered by businesses simply making theirs available.

“I will also be contacting the British Heart Foundation as they provide defibs to places that don’t have them. I hope they will give us four, which would be a good kick-start to the campaign.

“I really hope the public will get behind this campaign and make March a safer place to live,” added Mr Skoulding.

The defibs cost between £850 and £1,320 to buy and about £200 to install in a protective cabinet.

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