Life-saving defibrillator to be installed at Berkhamsted Civic Centre

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A life-saving defibrillator is set to be installed at the Civic Centre in Berkhamsted .

The piece of kit, which gives a high energy electric shock to someone in cardiac arrest, is an essential tool that shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm.

Approximately 30,000 people have cardiac arrests outside of hospital every year, and the survival rate is just one in 10 according to the British Heart Foundation.

The defibrillator has been paid for by the Berkhamsted Lions Club as part of the Lions organsation’s centenary celebrations.

The charitable group has about 15 active members, and they have all been fundraising over the last few months to pay for the defibrillator.

Peter Block, the president of the Berkhamsted branch of the Lions, told the Gazette: “At a meeting earlier this month we ringfenced £6,000 to cover the cost of the defibrillator.

“We now have to finalise arrangements with the Civic Centre as to how it is deployed.

“Our aim is to have this up and running as soon as possible and it’s part of the Lions’ centenary celebrations, and this is our chosen project.

“£6,000 covers the cost of the equipment and any maintenance for the next 10 years.

“The Civic Centre seemed like the obvious place to put it. It’s right in the middle of the High Street, so it would be pretty hard to find a better spot for one to be.”

The Lions raised the cash from a host of events, which included the popular Bank Holiday fete.

Although some stores in Berkhamsted, like Waitrose, already have defibrillators in their premises, the one at the Civic Centre would be the first publicly accessible kit.

A licence to install the defibrillator at the building, which is owned by Dacorum Borough Council, has been approved.

The Lions hope to have it in place by June at the latest.