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Successful campaign to save lives in Knaresborough

Successful campaign to save lives in Knaresborough

Published at 9:34pm 2nd August 2017.

The man behind a campaign to provide life-saving equipment in Knaresborough is sending out a heartfelt "thank you" to his supporters.

Matti Ward, who volunteers as a Community First Responder for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, launched the Restart Yorkshire initiative to make Community Public Access Defibrillators (CPADs) available in the town and surrounding area.

If someone suffers a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator can be used to deliver an electric shock to restart their heart.

CPADs are kept in secure cabinets on the outside wall of a building, which makes them available at any time of the day or night.

When someone dials 999, they will be given a code to unlock the cabinet.

Matti said: "For every minute that CPR and early defibrillation isn't used, the chances of making a recovery are reduced by 10%. For sudden cardiac arrest, 250 people die each day in the UK, so it is very important that effective CPR and early defibrillation is started.

"One of the things that I offer as part of this initiative is free CPR training and familiarisation with some training defibrillators which are identical to the ones in the cabinets.

"I'm immensely proud of how it's gone. It's thanks to local businesses, individuals, groups, the British Heart Foundation and the Arrhythmia Alliance. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to actually buy the defibrillators and get them in place."

Knaresborough defibrillator

Curtis Randall holding the defibrillator which saved his life

Knaresborough's very first CPAD has already been used to save the life of a local man.

Curtis Randall was walking through the Market Place when he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest.

An off-duty Community First Responder and off-duty GP came to his rescue, closely followed by another Community First Responder and ambulance crews.

Curtis said: "Without a doubt, I wouldn't be here if the defibrillator wasn't there. I've been told throughout my hospital visits that if I'd have been 20 minutes earlier, I wouldn't have pulled through.

"The First Responders are just amazing. When they came round, it was emotional for myself and my family. I personally owe a huge thanks to these guys."

You can get more information about the Restart Yorkshire initiative on Facebook and Twitter or by sending an e-mail to restartyorkshire@gmail.com