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Joe Joyce of Bristol Bears unveils our Defibrillator in Southmead

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

King of Southmead Joe Joyce unveils lifesaving device funded by locals

(Nov 2020, Henleaze & Westbury Voice)


AVON Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) and Bristol Bear's Joe Joyce have unveiled a new community defibrillator.


The device, crowdfunded by Simon Brookes, will be accessible from the front of the station and usable by anyone in the local community.

Passers-by need to simply call 999 24 hours a day and they will be given the access code by South Western Ambulance Service.


The device and lockable safe cost £1,800 and was completely crowdfunded by Simon, while the installation was paid for by AF&RS.


Joe Joyce, Bristol Bears Lock, said: "It's great to be able to unveil such a life-saving bit of kit where I grew up.


"Having gone through CPR training last year with the Bears, I know just how important this is and how much of a difference this can make in life or death situations.


"I know that this station is right in the heart of the Southmead community and it is great to see this collaboration work taking place.


"I think Simon has done a fantastic job in crowdfunding and I hope to see many more across the area."


Neil Liddington, Risk Reduction Area Manager for AF&RS, added: "We are delighted to have installed a Public Access Defibrillators outside Southmead fire stations.


"Our stations are naturally situated in the most populated areas, providing ideal locations for the devices in the heart of communities.


"The defibrillators will be available to the public 24 hours a day and not just when the fire station is occupied.


"This shows just how committed the Service is to ensuring the local community is safe. Being able to offer that first aid option is key, but also being at the heart of the community.


"We hope it is never needed, but if it is, we are happy to say it is there and accessible."

Simon Brookes has been involved in purchasing seven and crowd-funding six defibrillators around North West Bristol in the last year, including at The Methodist church hall, Westbury hill, The White Lion in Westbury, the RAFA club in Eastfield.


This also includes Southmead fire station and three currently being installed at Beehive public house in Wellington Hill West, the village shops in Stoke Bishop and the shopping area in North View, Westbury Park.


This is his first collaboration with the fire service and he is already crowdfunding more. Simon said: "I was a community first responder for the ambulance service for nine years and realise the importance of bystander CPR and access to urgent defibrillation.


"I have made it my aim to spread 24-hour community public access defibrillators across the city and am already talking with groups in Southville and Stockwood to this aim.


"I raise money through crowdfunding, accepting donations from those taught CPR free of charge, from local community groups and businesses and if that doesn't reach the target - leafleting!


"Most people approached. know it makes sense and it's just getting them to overcome any perceived obstacles.


A spokesperson for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: "The more people equipped with the knowledge and confidence to administer CPR and the more defibrillators there are available, the more people we can save.


"We encourage all businesses and workplaces to have defibrillators and CPR-trained people available to respond in an emergency situation."



Stoke Bishop Village defibrillator: mission accomplished (almost)!


THANKS to the generosity of 40 contributors, in particular M. who contributed a very generous £276, Simon Brookes has reached his target of £1,275 towards the purchase of a defibrillator to be installed at the Village shops.


This sum, when added to the £600 contribution from Druid Fountain Neighbourhood Watch and the Sneyd Park Residents Association, has enabled Simon to order and install the equipment.


Salvatore who owns the friendly and welcoming barbershop in the Village, and has done so for 28 years, has kindly agreed to host the public defibrillator on the wall of his shop and has said that he's proud to have been involved helping to get this initiative off the ground.


The Next Steps


The next stage is training people in the use of the defibrillator and in CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation).


Anyone can suffer a cardiac arrest no matter how fit they are and a victim's life expectancy chances increase from 1 in 10 to 3 in 10 with immediate CPR and defibrillation. The availability of this local defibrillator and trained users should make a real difference to anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest in our area.


Help to Save a Life


Why not join the band of volunteers and Free training sessions are being arranged at Stoke Bishop Village Hall to learn how to do CPR and use the defibrillator.


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