Earlier this year, Big Local (BL) were contacted by the team at Cleethorpes Chronicle who put forward a request to the BL committee to provide match funding to purchase defibrillators following two incidents on St. Peter’s Avenue.
In November 2016, Cleethorpes Chronicle reporter Vincent McDonagh suffered a cardiac arrest (where a person’s heart stops beating) whilst at work. Thanks to the quick thinking of his colleagues and the fast response of East Midlands Ambulance Service, Vincent’s ordeal did not end in tragedy. This was primarily due to the fact that a paramedic in an ambulance equipped with a defibrillator was parked nearby, and was able to administer life-saving treatment at the scene. Vincent was then taken to hospital where he underwent open heart surgery and is now recovering from the ordeal. A similar situation unfolded at the Shake Shack Café in December when owner of the Shake Shack Café also suffered a cardiac arrest. Despite the best efforts of staff and members of the public who called an ambulance and tried to administer CPR, Michael passed away at the scene. Had there been a defibrillator on the high street, Michael’s story may have ended differently.
It is estimated that for every minute a person suffering a cardiac arrest goes without a defibrillator, their chances of survival decrease by 10%. The nearest defibrillators to Cleethorpes’ main shopping street are at the first aid station and leisure centre – both two far away to retrieve in a timely fashion. As a result of the tragedy, and Vincent’s near miss, Cleethorpes Chronicle launched a crowd funding appeal to raise £999 to purchase a defibrillator to be situated on the busy high street where the two incidents took place. Within days of launching their appeal, they achieved their goal and decided to raise an additional £999 to purchase another defibrillator. After nearing their £1998 target to purchase two defibrillators, Cleethorpes Chronicle approached Big Local to ask if they would provide match funding to purchase an additional two defibrillators, taking the total to four.
Big Local has agreed to provide match funding and is pleased to report that three of the four defibrillators will serve areas within North Cleethorpes. It has been proposed that one defibrillator would serve Sidney Sussex and be sited on Grimsby Road and two would be placed in Croft Baker, serving St. Peter’s Avenue, the Market Place, High Street and Sea View Street. Following an appeal from the people behind Cleethorpes Parkrun, it has been suggested that the forth defibrillator should be situated within, or near to, Cleethorpes Country Park. Cleethorpes Parkrun is a free 5 km timed run which takes place every Saturday, and attracts up to 200 people. When the four defibrillators are installed, hopefully before the end of the year, Cleethorpes Chronicle, in partnership with Big Local, plan to hold a training session with East Midlands Ambulance Service at St. Peter’s Church Hall for members of the public to learn how to use the defibrillators in the event of an emergency.
Speaking about the success of Cleethorpes Chronicle’s crowd funding Campaign, Community Response Manager of East Midlands Ambulance Service Steve Pratten, said: “I am delighted at the progress that the campaign has achieved thanks to the amazing efforts of local businesses and residents of Cleethorpes spear headed by the team at Cleethorpes Chronicle, in partnership with East Midlands Ambulance Service. The funds raised have exceeded our expectations meaning we are able to place even more community public access defibrillators around the Cleethorpes area. Our vision is to make the area the first Heart Safe resort in the UK, meaning tourists, visitors and residents are never more than a few minutes away from a public defibrillator”.