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LAFARGE Employees Train As Community Life-Savers

QUARRY workers and office staff at Lafarge are training as community ‘heart-start life-savers’ after receiving new defibrillation machines.

It means while the ambulance service is en-route, first-aiders at Mountsorrel Quarry and the Syston head office can provide vital treatment to heart attack victims, not only at their sites but also in neighbourhoods and businesses close by.

Research shows that applying defibrillation – a controlled electric shock – to someone suffering cardiac arrest within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chance of survival.

Fast response to a heart attack emergency is therefore vital.

The machines have been supplied by East Midlands Ambulance Service through the British Heart Foundation’s community defibrillation scheme.

The aim is to ensure good coverage across Leicestershire and the wider region so anyone suffering a heart attack can receive the fastest and most effective treatment possible.

Angus Shedden, site manager at Mountsorrel Quarry, which has received one of the automated external defibrillators (AED) said:

“Having this new life-saving equipment on site is not only good news for our employees but also for the neighbourhoods close by.
“If we get a call from the ambulance service to say someone in Quorn for example has had a heart attack and can we attend quickly, the outcome for that person will be better than if they were left without any intervention before the ambulance arrives.
“Lafarge is committed to supporting local communities around its sites and this is one way in which we can make a huge, possibly life-saving, difference.”

While Mountsorrel only has one AED at the moment, because of its size, there are plans to invest in obtaining extra machines, which will also increase community coverage.

At Granite House, Syston, the HQ of Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, the new AED will be on hand for employees and also for emergencies at other firms on the Watermead Business Park.

Chris Bates, facilities manager at Granite House, said:

“Some years ago, while I was at another company, a good friend and colleague suffered a heart attack and sadly died, despite the best efforts of the paramedics when they arrived.
“There were no community defibrillators around then and I’m certain if there had been and it had been used quickly, his life could have been saved and he would be walking round today.
“That is why these AEDs are so crucial and why I am so passionate about being involved in this scheme.”

Full training on the AEDs is provided by East Midlands Ambulance Service, although as Sean Keown, community defibrillation officer, explained, even the inexperienced should be able to use one.

Sean said:

“These modern AEDs are so simple and easy to use and they are true life-savers so it’s fantastic that Lafarge has got on board with the community scheme.
“It means both employees and people in the surrounding area have a better chance of survival should they succumb to a heart attack.
“The speed of response and the ease of use of the machine is the key. The rescuer turns on the machine and the machine then gives ‘voice prompts’ – it tells the responder exactly what to do and where to put the electrical pads.
“These pads detect electrical activity in the heart and can tell if a shock is needed.
“Anyone can use an AED but we prefer people to receive training first which we are happy to provide.
“The benefit of using first-aiders as AED responders is that they are already aware of CPR techniques which can buy time before defibrillation is required.”

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