Thursday 14th January 2016 – 12.05pm – Chris Kowalik.
“No-one questions having a first-aid kit or a fire extinguisher on their premises, this is no different. It is an essential piece of equipment if you want to save someone’s life.”
Pictured left to right: Mike Burke (Community Defibrillation Facilitator, WMAS), Julie Cutts (Marina Manager for Diglis Basin, British Waterways Marinas Ltd.), Michelle Lewis (Community Defibrillation Facilitator, WMAS). Pictures: West Midlands Ambulance Service
Diglis Marina in Worcester is home to many residents who live on their boats. It is central to a growing population where new homes are being built. It is a hive of activity of passing walkers and cyclists and neighbours a sports field and gym.
“The nearest community public access defibrillators were in the city centre” said Mike Burke, Community Defibrillation Facilitator with West Midlands Ambulance Service on whose behalf he offered the device that could restart the heart of someone who suffers a cardiac arrest. Co-incidentally, British Marinas Waterways Ltd. which runs Diglis Marina, was also wanting to place a defibrillator at Diglis.
Mike said: “British Waterways Marinas Ltd. were very keen to get involved. They had already started to get defibrillators in their other marinas as part of their strategy to have them at all their marinas in the UK. After discussion with them they agreed to provide the secure cabinet and the electricity supply. West Midlands Ambulance Service provided the defibrillator and the training.
“We trained about a dozen people just before Christmas; they include some of the boaters, staff from the marina and local businesses and instructors at a local gym. It is the intention of the marina now to ask for more formal training for all boaters who have boats in the marina. That’s our project for 2016.”
Julie Cutts, Marina Manager for Diglis Basin, British Waterways Marinas Ltd. said: “We’ve been looking to put a defibrillator into Diglis Marina for a little while. We have 19 marinas in the group and eventually we want to have a defibrillator in all of them. I was approached by Mike Burke who said he could get a defibrillator for us so we provided the cabinet. It was always our desire to have a defibrillator here in Diglis and Mike’s timing in offering us one was brilliant.
“We are really pleased to have a defibrillator here. It’s just great to be working with West Midlands Ambulance Service. If we could do the same in other areas of the country where we have marinas, it would be really good. We are thrilled.”
Notes to Editors:
For more information about defibrillators, contact West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Community Response Department on 01384 215 855
For more information about British Waterways Marinas Ltd. visit www.bwml.co.uk