In April this year, a defibrillator was generously donated to the Island by the UK South East Coast Ambulance Service. Since then, Prison Manager, Martin David, a Police Tactical First Aid Trainer and medic, has been conducting training courses with staff of the Police, Customs, Life Guards and members of the St Helena Dive Club. Trainees for the course were selected due to their involvement with the emergency and rescue services and their location, including at the swimming pool.
Currently training takes place at the Prison spanning between two and four hours depending on the trainee’s knowledge and experience in First Aid.
At present, the defibrillator is not aimed at sea rescue but can be deployed in a case where it might be needed in the wharf area. The defibrillator is currently housed at the HM prison, in Jamestown, as it is the only 24 hour running operation in the area.
The use of the community defibrillator differs to that of the Hospital – all personnel qualified through the First Aid training sessions can operate it. So far, seven people are qualified to use the machine, but it is hoped more than thirty will qualify by the end of July.
There is only one community machine in operation but Martin says: “We would always be keen to receive any future donations.”
16 July 2013