Thanks to a joint effort by the Village Hall Committee, Hitcham Parish Council, the Hitcham Festival Committee, Honeybees Nursery, Suffolk First Responders and the British Heart Foundation, Hitcham now has a defibrillator available to all residents. You will find it at the front of the hall on the right, next to the white gate.

Thanks also to Keith Marshall of Wattisham and District First Responders for an excellent presentation on 12 August. A large and attentive audience learned what to do when someone has a heart attack, and saw exactly how the defibrillator can be used.

If you missed the presentation, here are the key points:

  • If you suspect someone has had a heart attack, call 999 (or 112) immediately and tell them what has happened and where you are.
  • If you know how to deliver CPR, start as soon as possible – this is crucial.
  • If you are not sure, the operator will talk you through what you need to do and how to administer CPR if that is necessary.
  • If someone else is available, you can send them to fetch the defibrillator, which is in a cabinet outside the Village Hall: the operator will provide the code needed to open the cabinet*.
  • Once turned on, the defibrillator itself will instruct you what to do. Simply follow those instructions. The defibrillator will NOT deliver a shock if this is not required – it will shut down if it detects a regular heartbeat.
  • If paramedics or an ambulance arrive, continue with CPR until they are able to take over (i.e. until they themselves tell you to stop).

*Note: Hitcham residents have already been sent the keycode, but for obvious reasons it is unsafe to share it on a public website