Life-saving defibrillator installed in Hitchin town centre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:08 29 August 2018

The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance charity have installed a public access defibrillator outside their shop in Hitchin's Churchgate. Picture: EHAAT

The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance charity have installed a public access defibrillator outside their shop in Hitchin's Churchgate. Picture: EHAAT


A defibrillator has been installed in Hitchin town centre by Essex & Herts Air Ambulance – thanks to council grants.

The potentially life-saving piece of equipment has been placed outside the EHAAT shop in Churchgate.

The computerised medical device is used when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest and delivers electrical current through the chest, which aims to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. This, alongside CPR, is crucial.

EHAAT clinical director Stuart Elms said: “We are grateful to both Herts County Council and North Herts District Council for providing the grant funding and enabling the charity to purchase the equipment for use by the community.

“Our pre-hospital care doctors and critical care paramedics treat many out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year, and the NHS ambulance services treat approximately 30,000 per year.

“Care and treatment has advanced every year, but those receiving bystander CPR and early defibrillation have a better chance of survival. Public access defibrillators are a recognised safe method of initiating care for patients when time is critical.”

The air ambulance service plans to install public access defibrillators – which are designed to be used safely by untrained members of the public – outside all its charity shops.

The charity hopes the defibrillator will encourage bystanders to get involved if they encounter a case of cardiac arrest, and provide the people of Hitchin with assistance before trained medical help arrives.

In a joint statement, Herts county councillors for Hitchin Derrick Ashley and Judi Billing – the latter of whom is also a district councillor for Hitchin Bearton – said: ”We’re delighted to support the installation of this defibrillator. This essential project makes an important contribution to Hitchin’s healthcare infrastructure.”

District councillor Clare Billing, vice-chair of the district council’s Hitchin committee, added: “I am very pleased the Hitchin committee was able to support the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance charity shop in Churchgate and that the public access defibrillator has now been fitted. Now, if it’s needed, the public can have access to this vital tool for saving lives in the centre of Hitchin. Also, with the new national database it will be easy to find the nearest defibrillator.”

More news stories

A new strings foundation for young children launched last week in memory of Dorothy Wells, who honoured her Hitchin links with a bequest dedicated to young aspiring muscians.

Yesterday, 16:23

The carer of a 16-year-old girl from Stevenage with disabilities – who suffers from cerebral palsy – is fighting back after a torrent of online abuse.

Yesterday, 16:07

The group who have drawn up plans for a regeneration of Churchgate have given a presentation to Hitchin councillors about their proposals ahead of an exhibition this weekend.

Yesterday, 14:44

Launched this week, the North Herts District Chairman’s Volunteer Achievement Awards 2019 celebrate the achievements of outstanding, praiseworthy individuals who volunteer their time to make a real difference in their communities.

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the The Comet e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

The Comet weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy