Funeral director to carry defibrillator in hearse
PUBLISHED: 19:47 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 19:47 13 February 2019
A Suffolk funeral director is to carry a defibrillator to funerals in its hearse.
GM Taylors Funeral Directors, which has an office on Queen’s Way and Ulster Avenue in Ipswich, has decided to purchase the device to help ensure the safety of mourners as well as people in their local community.
Owner, Greg Taylor, has forked out thousands from his own pocket for the life saving equipment, which will be kept in the company’s specialist vehicles.
Mr Taylor, who has been a funeral director for 20 years, said even if the defibrillator saves one life, it will be worth the money.
He said: “I thought it would be a good idea because of the type of people that are often at funerals.
“There are a lot of elderly people who attend, either for friends or family members, and it is an emotional and stressful time for an awful lot of people.
“They can also be big events especially when it is for a young person when funerals can see up to 400 mourners. Emotions play a big part which can make funerals a high risk place for people who could become unwell.”
During funerals, the defibrillator will be found underneath the driver’s seat in the hearse. But, when the car is not being used, the device will be in the company’s Queen’s Way office in Ipswich.
Located in a busy part of town, Mr Taylor feels the kit could be equally as useful when it is at their headquarters. He also intends to hand out flyers to local businesses advertising the location of the defibrillator.
“This is a busy area and there’s quite a lot of elderly people who are most at risk and so even when we don’t have the defibrillator at a funeral it can still help people,” he said.
“The beauty of this device is that you don’t need any training at all. You start it going and it gives you all the instructions.
“I’m hoping other funeral directors think it’s a good idea and they do the same thing. We should have them everywhere.”
Despite the positive impact the defibrillator could have on Mr Taylor’s community, he said some people had seen the irony of a funeral director having a defibrillator.
He said: “I have had some sarcastic comments and I expect to hear more, but I haven’t heard one negative thing about the idea from anyone yet.”