CHARD NEWS: Council to fund public 24-7 defibrillator at Guildhall

CHARD NEWS: Council to fund public 24-7 defibrillator at Guildhall

A POTENTIALLY life-saving defibrillator is to be positioned outside the Guildhall building in the centre of Chard – as a matter of urgency.

The news comes following the tragic events of last weekend when an elderly gentleman died after collapsing at The Cerdic pub in Fore Street, Chard, on Saturday (February 17, 2018) at around midday.

The death sparked a lot of comments and conversations locally on social media regarding public defibrillators in the town and the lack of any which are available 24-hours a day.

Already a community group has been set-up to raise funds to buy public defibrillators for the town – which can be used in the event of someone having a heart attack – but last weekend’s incident at The Cerdic has propelled Chard Town Council into action.

Cllr Jason Baker, speaking at the Chard’s full council meeting on Monday (February 19, 2018), said: “Members may be aware of the sad news last weekend where a gentleman sadly passed away.

“Since then there has been many comments and conversations on social media regarding defibrillators in the town.

“We as a council set aside a sum of money stating that we would spend £1,800 to purchase defibrillators for the town.

“Whilst I fully support the group that is currently forming and fundraising to purchase several defibrillators for the town I think we should use this money that we have set aside to purchase a defibrillator straight away.”

And crucially Cllr Baker added: “I would further add that it is located in a suitable position outside the Guildhall so that it is accessible 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

It was proposed and unanimously agreed by the council to buy a defibrillator and situate it on the outside of the Guildahll subject to the agreement of the conservation officer from South Somerset District Council.

Any surplus funds from the agreed budget of £1,800 will then go towards a second defibrillator.

“I am pleased that my motion was agreed unanimously by town councillors on Monday,” added Cllr Baker. “I have asked for this to be progressed as a matter of urgency by the Deputy Town Clerk. I will update everyone as soon as we have an agreed location on the Guildhall and date for instillation.”

PHOTO - TOP: A defibrillator (not necessarily like the one photographed) will be placed on the outside of the Guildhall building in Fore Street, Chard, as soon as possible.