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Life-saving defibrillator launched at Tower Ramparts bus station in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 13:45 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:45 22 May 2018

A new defibrillator has been installed at Tower Ramparts bus station. From left to right: Pete Symonds, Shane Buffham, Sarah Barber, Neil McDonald, David Jones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A new defibrillator has been installed at Tower Ramparts bus station. From left to right: Pete Symonds, Shane Buffham, Sarah Barber, Neil McDonald, David Jones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Campaigners are celebrating the launch of a second public defibrillator aimed at saving lives around the clock in Ipswich town centre.

A new defibrillator has been installed at Tower Ramparts Bus Station. From left to right: Pete Symonds, Shane Buffham, Sarah Barber, Neil McDonald, David Jones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA new defibrillator has been installed at Tower Ramparts Bus Station. From left to right: Pete Symonds, Shane Buffham, Sarah Barber, Neil McDonald, David Jones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Unveiling the new equipment, which has been installed at Tower Ramparts bus station, were members of the newly formed Ipswich Defibrillator Group.

Ipswich council, the Heart 2 Heart charity, Ipswich Central, the Town Pastors, Cardiac Science and Ipswich Buses are all on board with the initiative and attended the launch last week.

The group have their sights set on making Ipswich a “heart safe” town, and are even planning a third defibrillator for the Old Cattle Market area.

Former Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber, who is also a nurse, attended the launch – she has a personal connection to the project, as her father died of a heart attack 25 years ago.

Jayne Biggs with Ipswich's first town centre defibrillator Picture: GREGG BROWNJayne Biggs with Ipswich's first town centre defibrillator Picture: GREGG BROWN

“What a fantastic legacy for my mayoral year that I was able to take part in a group helping to make Ipswich a safer place to visit should anyone ever have a heart attack,” she said.

“It’s something that saves lives, and is vital for us to have in Ipswich town centre.”

Heart 2 Heart founder Jayne Biggs unveiled the town centre’s first life-saving defibrillator outside Debenhams earlier this year.

She set up the charity after her daughter Violet suffered a cardiac arrest at the age of seven.

Staff from Debenhams and Lloyds Bank celebrate Ipswich's first town centre defibrillator Picture: GREGG BROWNStaff from Debenhams and Lloyds Bank celebrate Ipswich's first town centre defibrillator Picture: GREGG BROWN

Her heart stopped for several minutes and it was thanks to the quick-thinking actions of paramedics – who shocked her back to life with a defibrillator – that Violet survived.

Violet, now 12, was with her to help unveil the equipment.

Mrs Biggs added: “When Violet collapsed we had to do CPR until the ambulance crew arrived, and it became clear how important it was to act quickly.”

Ms Biggs had previously expressed concerns that there were no publicly available defibrillators in Ipswich town centre after shops closed.

Ipswich Buses staff have received training on how to use the newly installed equipment at Tower Ramparts bus station.

However, it can also be used by the public – who should ring 999 to gain access to it.

All public access defibrillators are registered with the East of England Ambulance Service.

To find out more, visit the British Heart Foundation website for help and advice about how to use the equipment.


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