A VITAL lifesaving addition to the facilities at Haslemere station has just arrived, thanks to the town’s community rail partnership team.
A public access defibrillator has been installed on the station forecourt, made possible by grants from the Shottermill Great War Memorial Trust, Haslemere First Responders, the Association of Community Rail Partners (ACoRP) and South Western Railway (SWR).
Haslemere Community Rail Partnership committee member Ken Griffiths said: “We hope it will never be used, but because of the numbers of people using the station, it most probably will. If so, then there is a great chance it will save someone’s life.
“When someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by at least seven to ten per cent, so time is extremely critical.
“We all think that this will not happen to us, but within the UK, there are more than 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year, so it will certainly happen to someone within Haslemere.”
Defibrillators are designed to be used by everyone, but to make usage even simpler the chairman of Haslemere First Responders, Kevin Morris, has supported the installation by running a number of training courses for community rail partners and railway staff.
Partnership chairman and town councillor Nikki Barton, said: “The Haslemere Community Rail Partnership is going from strength to strength- the installation of the defibrillator is one part of our wider strategy to improve the station for all rail travellers.
“We are very grateful to the Shottermill Great War Memorial Trust, Haslemere First Responders, the Association of Community Rail Partners and South Western Railway for their contributions to this life saving equipment.”
The defibrillator is the latest boost to the station made possible thanks to the efforts of the partnership team. There were big celebrations in April 2017, when the group got approval to use an empty shop in the forecourt as a strategic base from which to promote Haslemere to visitors.
Manned by volunteers, Haslemere Information Hub is open 10am to midday Monday to Saturday. Thanks to sponsorship from South Downs National Park Authority, visitors can pick up a new Rail to Ramble leaflet featuring countryside walks starting from the station. Haslemere attractions are now also mapped on the town’s first ‘totem’ pole next to the hub.
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