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Making Dorchester a safer place to shop

Monday, March 25th, 2013

The BID and St John Ambulance have teamed up together to put life saving equipment at the heart of the community and to make Dorchester a safer place to shop.

Dorchester businesses taking part in the defibrilator training by St John Ambulance

New portable Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) – machines that can shock the heart to restart it after a cardiac arrest – have been purchased by the BID to complement the five static machines already available.

The £3,500 investment by town centre businesses is being supported by St John Ambulance who has provided free training in how to use the machine for 12 people.

DBID’s Phil Gordon said:

“The defibrillators in the town cannot be taken out of the buildings where they’re installed, which makes them totally useless outside of their location.

“These new portable units will be located in a triangle around town – the Post Office, Goulds Fashion and The Royal Oak – and there will be two people trained at each of these locations, plus a further six around the town, to make sure there will always be someone on hand in case of an emergency.

Dorchester Town centre people trained to use the defibrillators:-

  • Christine Caldwell, Gill Aplin – Dorchester Travel
  • Jean Sprotson – Sprotson & Bowden
  • Laura Cribley, The Royal Oak (DEFIB Site)
  • Ross Cumber – Taste
  • Glenda Hart, Tracey Hoskins – Dorchester Post Office (DEFIB Site)
  • Tim Ridout, Brian Ball – Londis stores
  • Nick Rawlings, Alastair Dean – Goulds (DEFIB SITE)
  • Peter Legg – Arthur Savage


“This is a true legacy project that will provide a lifeline to people using Dorchester town centre for many years to come, making it an even safer place to shop.”

According to statistics from the ONS, one person in the UK suffers a cardiac arrest every two minutes and as many as one in three will die before they reach hospital. Survival rates increase by more than 50 per cent if a defibrillator is used within the first four minutes.

Whilst using a defibrillator without training would not cause someone harm, the training sessions will give people valuable practice and confidence to use them in case of emergency.

John Cavanagh, South West Regional Director for St John Ambulance’s Commercial Training Division, said:

“We welcome how seriously the team at Dorchester BID is taking first aid – access to an AED can make a real difference.

“Sadly, up to 140,000* people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live, yet fewer than one in five people know even basic first aid.

“In Dorset, St John Ambulance has four training centres – Dorchester, Poole, Shaftesbury and Weymouth – with courses running every day in key life saving skills.

“Thanks to this investment by local businesses and our expert trainers, people in Dorchester won’t have to be helpless, and they might save the life of a member of their family, a friend, a neighbour, or a visitor to this vibrant county town.”

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