Riverview gets its first 24/7 defibrillator

A new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for Riverview Park has been unveiled by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr. John Caller at The Gravesend Boat public house on Friday 26th June 2020.

A campaign led by local resident Andy Fooks, of Heartstart Gravesham Life Saving Club was supported by local Riverview Councillors Aaron Elliott and Derek Ashenden as well as that of the new landlord, Robert Ryan.

“With the use of AEDs becoming more integral to basic life support training, in January 2020, I put forward a proposal to supply a Public Access Defibrillator to the community of Riverview Park, Gravesend. I got funding agreed that Heartstart Gravesham Life Saving Club  would fund the outside cabinet and that local fundraising would supply the AED itself.” said Mr Fooks.

In total Mr Fooks was responsible for raising £1500 towards the entire project.

Many supermarkets have defibrillators installed for community access, as do doctor surgeries, dentists and leisure centres, but often these can not be taken off-premises and are inaccessible after hours. The new AED at The Gravesend Boat, kindly installed by Gary Hagon Electricals Ltd, will be accessible 24/7.

“I had been discussing the idea of a defibrillator outside Riverview library just the previous year so when Mr Fooks came to me with his proposals I was absolutely delighted and very keen to assist in any way I could.” said Cllr. Elliott. 

“The neighbouring Parishes have easy access to defibrillators and with the similar distance Riverview residents face for ambulances to travel it is vital that we give the elderly population of Riverview their best chance of survival”, he went on.

Used within 3-5 minutes of collapse, the chance of survival can increase to up to 70%, because for every minute without defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by between 7-10%. The average ambulance response time is just under 7 minutes to these calls, so if an AED is already being used when the ambulance arrives, the chances of survival increase.

Going forward, the scheme will need funds to replace the pads and battery, so if anyone still wishes to donate to the scheme, please visit the GoFundMe page “Public Access AED for Riverview Park” or contact Robert Ryan at The Gravesend Boat.

Gravesham Life Saving Club have been teaching lifesaving and water rescue skills at Cygnet Leisure Centre, Northfleet for over 40 years. 11 years ago, they teamed up with the British Heart Foundation to start delivering their 2 hour CPR Heartstart courses to the public, and Hearstart Gravesham Life Saving Club was founded. To date, they have trained around 1300 people in Basic Life Support skills through this scheme.