Hartlepool defibrillators campaign group praises council after £10,000 extra funding

A community defibrillator group that has installed many of the life-saving machines across Hartlepool has welcomed new council funding to help meet installation costs.

Saturday, 30th July 2022, 4:45 am
DS43 Community Defrillators group. Back row (left to right) Sarah Shurmer, Sarah West, Pam Shurmer, Kelly Cairns, Jill Couchman. Front kneeling left to right, Bill Shurmer and David Cairnes.
DS43 Community Defrillators group. Back row (left to right) Sarah Shurmer, Sarah West, Pam Shurmer, Kelly Cairns, Jill Couchman. Front kneeling left to right, Bill Shurmer and David Cairnes.

Members of the DS43 Community Defibrillators group, set up after the death of Hartlepool man Danny Shurmer, hailed Hartlepool Borough Council after the local authority identified £10,000 from reserves towards installation and running costs.

Earlier this month, the group appealed to the council to work more closely with them after they were quoted up to £1,500 and £3,100 plus additional costs to install defibrillators on council property in areas of the town where there are currently no public defibrillators.

After agreeing a new town defibrillator policy in June, councillors asked their officers to explore potential funding options.

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The one-off sum of £10,000 has been earmarked from the council’s strategic change reserve and was approved at a meeting of the finance and policy committee on Tuesday, July 26.

Danny’s mum, Pam Shurmer, said on behalf of the defibrillator group: “A big thank you to Hartlepool Borough Council.

“We are delighted that Hartlepool Borough Council have been able to identify funds to assist with defibrillator installations.

"Since the council made this announcement, we have had a very positive and constructive meeting with Shane Moore, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and hope to be able to work collaboratively to move forward our aim of placing Public Access Defibrillators across the town to give equal access to everyone no matter where they are at any time of day or night.

“Defibrillators really do save lives and this announcement is appreciated and warmly welcomed by us and we’re sure all Hartlepool residents."

The group has raised over £60,000 to provide almost 30 defibrillators across Hartlepool in just one year.

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Cllr Moore, who is also chair of the council’s finance and policy committee, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to identify this money to assist with the costs of the installation of defibrillators in our community.

“We know defibrillators save lives and, when used correctly and combined with good CPR, the odds of someone’s survival can jump from around 6% to 74%.

“It’s for this reason we knew it was vitally important to develop a Defibrillator Policy and also identify funding to help meet the costs of the installation of defibrillators.”