Hednesford Town shows heart with life-saving defibrillator

Hednesford Town Football Club (HTFC) and its community have been equipped with a life-saving new defibrillator, with the help of The Football Association (FA), British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Hednesford Town Football Club Supporters Association (HTFCSA) and its Pitmen Prize Draw (PPD).

In a unique partnership between the BHF and The FA, more than 900 defibrillators have been made available to clubs at Steps One to Six of the National League System and clubs in the Women’s Super League to help save the lives of cardiac arrest casualties.

HTFC is the latest club to install a defibrillator, giving players, staff and fans access to the equipment needed to save lives in their community. The club was also given information about Hand-only CPR, which was made famous for the BHF by football legend Vinnie Jones.

Two-thirds of the cost of the defibrillator was provided to the club by The FA and BHF, whilst money from the club fund of the PPD provided the rest of the money in order to purchase this life-saving machine.

HTFC Physio Gavin Blackwell said

“This vital piece of equipment could prove to be the difference between life and death and it’s a welcome addition to this club and its community.

“The FA, BHF and HTFCSA have made it possible for HTFC to be part of the drive to improve the UK’s poor cardiac arrest survival rates. Along with CPR, a defibrillator is a vital link in the chain of survival and we’re lucky that we now have the skills and equipment at the club to save a life.”

Awareness around sudden cardiac arrests was heightened when former England Under-21 star, Fabrice Muamba, suffered a cardiac arrest in the Tottenham Hotspur versus Bolton Wanderers FA Cup tie on March 17th last year. Muamba’s story is even more remarkable as only around one in five people normally survive a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.
A defibrillator, also known as an Automated External Defibrillator or AED, gives the heart a controlled electrical shock during cardiac arrest.

For every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by about ten per cent. Research shows giving CPR and a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chance of survival if CPR has been carried out as well.
The British Heart Foundation has already helped place 11,000 defibrillators in the community since 1996. Since the charity launched Hands-only CPR last year, more than 30 lives have been saved by the technique.

Clubs can find information about the application process by visiting www.bhf.org.uk/football

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