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HE the Governor Nigel Phillips hosted a reception at Government House on the 30th July for the newly formed local charity, “Southern Heartbeat”.
The Trustees of the Charity which was set up and will be led by full and part time members of the Falkland Islands Fire & Rescue Service, wanted to hold an event that recognised the overwhelmingly generous support in particular the Falkland Islands Fishing Industry, wider business community and FIG which one spokesperson said had been very humbling. When the idea of the charity was first discussed, the Trustees were unsure how well the idea would be received by the community, but they managed to raise a staggering £65,000, which surpassed the original target of £40,000. By raising such an amount it meant that the charity’s reach will go further than they had initially hoped and more locations within camp will benefit from an AED a lot sooner than had been anticipated.
As reported earlier this year in the Penguin News, the idea of the Charity is to ensure that there are publicly available AED’s within Stanley and wider camp locations 24 hours per day. It is envisaged that if you live in Stanley, eventually you won’t be more than 2 minutes from an Automated External Defibrillator. Whilst it needs to be confirmed, the Falkland Islands could have more publicly accessible AED’s per head of population than any other country in the world, at 31, which if confirmed is something we can all be proud of. From the very outset, members of the Falkland Islands Fishing Companies Association lent their full support to the initiative.
This concept is now common place in towns and cities all over the world and we are excited to be able to introduce it here.
The Charity doesn’t stop there, because from September, FREE training will be given to anyone that wants it. The charity has also bought a number of AED dolls on which skills can be taught and developed, giving the first aider the confidence they need should the skills be required in a real life situation. Trainers will hold drop in sessions, attend camp locations, schools, (where Basic Life Support) is on the curriculum in some instances and make themselves available to companies wherever possible. All the necessary details can be found on the Southern Heartbeat Facebook page and should you want to book training sessions, then you can contact Gene Berntsen on 53333 to arrange. We would strongly urge as many people as possible to undertake this life saving training, because you really don’t have to be a qualified doctor or paramedic to make a difference and potentially save a life
Members of the Charity would like to say a huge thank you to St. John’s Ambulance Jersey and friend of the Falklands Barry Marsden for supplying the equipment at cost. Thanks you also to PWD who have offered to install the units. But most of all, thank you to all of the companies, corporations and Government who donated, because without you help, none of this would have been possible.
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