The parish council is delighted to confirm that a third emergency defibrillator is now active in the parish. This unit is located on the outside front wall of the Pitstone Sports Pavilion on Marsworth Road (opposite the junction with Westfield Road) and can be accessed via the pedestrian gate. Why do we need emergency defibrillators? Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) does not give warning symptoms like a traditional heart attack. The heart goes into an unstable rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, the heart stops beating effectively and the person becomes unconscious. Less than 30% of the time someone will do CPR on a victim, which does help buy time. However, CPR alone cannot put the heart back in normal rhythm, only a defibrillator can. You lose 7-10% chance of surviving each minute you are in SCA and an emergency ambulance from Stoke Mandeville can take up to 20 minutes to arrive. Only 8.3% of victims survive neurologically intact because emergency medical services simply cannot get to the victim and shock them in the four to six minutes before brain damage occurs. Do you need to be trained to use the defibrillator? No. Dial 999 as soon as the patient is taken poorly. The emergency services will dispatch an ambulance and if appropriate, provide you with details of the nearest defibrillator. The operator will stay on the line and talk you through the use of the equipment. The defibrillator itself also gives you voice commands to talk you through the process. The defibrillator will only shock the patient if it first detects abnormal rhythms that can be treated via shocking, so you don’t need to be worried about hurting the patient or causing any damage. We have offered community training events on the use of the defibrillators before and will be arranging a further session again soon. We hope that all residents will take the time to attend an event and familiarise themselves with the equipment so that it does not seem as daunting in the event of an emergency. How has this defibrillator been funded? Our grateful thanks to Pitstone & Ivinghoe Junior Football Club for purchasing the defibrillator and donating it to the parish council for use at the sports pavilion site, and granting permission for this to be utilised by the wider community. Our grateful thanks to the Women’s Institute for their grant to enable the purchase and installation of the external lock box (which makes the defibrillator available to all) and associated signage (currently being manufactured and will be erected shortly). The parish council is meeting the additional costs associated with daily/weekly/monthly maintenance regimes, utility costs, consumable costs, insurance and regular status reporting to the ambulance service etc.