On 25 April, Boscastle WI welcomed members of the community to the Village Hall for a valuable session in life-saving techniques. A local group, including First Responders, taught the WI members how to recognise if someone has suffered a heart attack, what steps to take, and how to use a defibrillator and administer CPR.
Boscastle WI is proud of its sponsorship of a life-saving defibrillator in their remote rural village on the rugged north coast of Cornwall. The village, well known to many because of its history and significant beauty, its position on the coastal path and because of the highly documented flood in 2004, is spread over a steep valley with the harbour and village shops at the bottom, winding up to Top Town, the old residential area. Having one centralised, easily accessible defibrillator that effectively serves the whole village just isn’t possible. One has been positioned down by the village shops for many years but that was a long and very steep climb for residents and visitors at the top of Boscastle. Minutes matter when someone has had a heart attack.
Boscastle WI identified this need and went about organising for one up top. “First we bought a telephone box down near the harbour to refurbish and make into a used bookshop, with proceeds funding ongoing maintenance of a defibrillator and then we went about securing sponsors to fund the purchase of a defibrillator.” says Gillian Schultz, Boscastle WI Secretary. “This was the brainchild of member Ann Humphreys, who manages a phone box book shop and a defibrillator in her small hamlet of Advent, and Julie Potter, Boscastle WI President. Thanks to the generosity of local residents and organisations, the money was raised and we bought the defibrillator and arranged for installation in January 2022.”
The defibrillator chosen by Boscastle WI includes both audio and visual directions and is supported by The Community Heartbeat Trust.
Everyone who attended the training session had the opportunity to experience what it felt like to go through the process, including making the compressions and breaths that are part of CPR. Gillian went on to say “The attendees I talked to said they found the information very valuable, were so grateful for the experience and it had removed the mystery and fear about what to do in what would be a very stressful live situation.”