The device was fitted to a perimeter wall at 27 Aldwark Road on Thursday, April 7, allowing people in the Heath Grove area to reach it within moments of someone suffering a cardiac arrest – increasing their chances of survival before paramedics can reach the scene.
The defibrillator was funded through generous donations and a series of community events spearheaded by Sherwood Road resident Janine Hall.
Janine, a 29-year-old nursery assistant, said: “It was a very emotional day seeing it finally installed. My son had an operation that day, and then there was this outpouring of thanks from neighbours. If it saves one life then I’ve done my job.
“We’re now in the process of organising free training sessions for anyone who wants to come along and learn how to use it and a bit of basic first aid.”
Homeowners Andy and Kelly Jones volunteered their wall after plans to place the defibrillator at the Marion Court sheltered housing complex were vetoed because its cul-de-sac location made access problematic.
Fairfield Builders Supplies provided free materials and manpower to adapt the wall, assisted by Janine’s dad and grandad, and JSA Electrical carried out the final fitting.
Those were just the latest acts of goodwill in a campaign which raised more than £1,300 to purchase the defibrillator from the Defib Store in Tideswell.
Janine said: “We held a raffle and cake sale in our garden last summer, and so many people showed up. We ran out of tombola prizes within 30 minutes and all the neighbours were running home to find more.
“Local businesses were so generous too. They donated the most fantastic things for the raffle. After all they’d been through with Covid, not one of them said no. It sometimes feels like there’s not much positive in the world, but the support for this was amazing.”
Janine is now looking forward to the community’s scarecrow competition in early July, which will raise money for spare parts and replacement materials for the defibrillator. She is also seeking local sign-makers who could help direct people to the location.
For updates on the training sessions, join the Heath Grove Residents group at www.facebook.com/groups/1193140337861909.