Top 50 Indie Sewell on the go has taken additional steps to support its local communities in East Yorkshire by installing defibrillators at all 13 of its sites.
The installations have seen the business invest a total of almost £15,000 in the devices, which give an electric shock – or defibrillation – to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest, in a bid to retart the heart.
The defibrillators are positioned inside the store at each site and can be used by members of the community, or Sewell on the go staff, who are also familiar with the machines. Staff have received training as a precaution, although it is not essential to be able to operate the defibrillators.
All Sewell on the go sites are open 24/7, 365 days per year, meaning they are always available to the communities they are based in.
David Craven-Jones, operations director at Sewell on the go, said: “We’re delighted that every one of our sites now has its own defibrillator for use whenever it is needed.
“You do not need to be trained to use a defibrillator and they are easy to use, as they give clear spoken instructions for whoever needs to operate one, ensuring a shock is not given unless it is needed.
“As we are a business which wholeheartedly believes in giving back to the communities we serve, we want people to know these defibrillators are here for community use, and we’re open around the clock every day of the year, so anyone can come and get them at any point.
“In the past, we have had a baby born on a forecourt, people go to filling stations if they have an issue, for fire extinguishers, or if they are lost for example, and having defibrillators is in keeping with this community ethos.
“You just never know what’s around the corner. Defibrillators are becoming more widely used and can save lives, so our sites are safe places to have them. They are reset and checked whenever they are used.”
The business began to introduce defibrillators about two years ago and they have been called on at some of its sites, including Chanterlands Avenue in West Hull, by members of the public since then.
Julia Nicholls, Sales Assistant at Sewell on the go Chanterlands, was involved in helping a man who had collapsed from a heart attack close to the store in July last year. Although the defibrillator was not needed, it was a close call before paramedics arrived.
She said: “The man was unconscious underneath the railway bridge near the store and I shot out with the defibrillator.
“A lady from the beauty shop further up the road was giving him CPR. But he was blue, didn’t have a pulse and I thought he had died.
“We both carried on administering CPR together and blew into his mouth. I moved everybody back ready to shock him with our defibrillator and the paramedics arrived at that moment.
“Thankfully, they took over and the man slowly came round. Although our defibrillator wasn’t used on the man, it would have been used in that second had the paramedics not arrived and used theirs.
“The man has been back in to see us recently and he’s doing really well. This is a prime example of how defibrillators can save lives and why they are so important.”
Sewell on the go also recently donated a defibrillator to Case Training Services, a local charity dedicated to the improvement of life choices for people with a learning disability through high quality training, support and employment opportunities.
Steve Rusling, marketing manager at Case Training Services, in Charles Street, in Hull, said: “We are so pleased to have the defibrillator because not only can we potentially help the people the charity supports, who are all local, vulnerable people with learning disabilities, it can benefit the local community at the same time. It is on the outside of our building and anyone can use it when they need it
“It’s a fantastic donation from Sewell on the go to a local charity and we wouldn’t have been able to get a defibrillator without their support. We’re really pleased it’s in place now and could help save a life.”