A defibrillator which has been donated by a charity from another Masonic order has been delivered to the Widnes Masonic Hall and is affixed to a wall on the first floor landing, near to the stair lift terminus. In order to provide the Widnes members expert training on the use of the defibrillator and some basic first aid advice a training session has been held at which about 60 members attended.
The training session, which was organised by Frank Thomas, was opened with a greeting from Peter Connolly PrGM of the Masonic Order that had donated the defibrillator. Peter was accompanied by Mike Clarke and Ian Nairn both being APrGM’s and Eric Drinkwater the PrGMs special representative. Also attending was Janet Graham from the St John Ambulance Blackburn, who gave instruction on how to use the defibrillator safely should it ever be required.
Janet’s instruction and training was very informative, detailed and well-presented with a very friendly and helpful approach. Information given by Janet included checking for lumps or scars on the chest, the patient may have a pacemaker; do not jostle the patient as there may be broken bones; if the patient carries a gas bottle and is permanently breathing oxygen the mask should be removed.
Some strong advice is to check the surrounding area for gas cylinders, electric cables, unstable floors or any dangerous situation before risking your safety and if CPR is required, it should be done to the tune of ‘Staying Alive’. It is also worth noting that the box contains scissors for cutting away clothing as necessary.
Although the defibrillator is relatively easy to use as it works like a Satnav, on opening the lid full instructions are given audibly and visually and no one should be afraid of taking on the responsibility of using it as it will not deliver the electric shock if it is not needed and cannot harm the patient. It is important that members of lodges and chapters are familiar in the use of the defibrillator. The training was not complicated or arduous as the machine talks an operator through the sequence to be followed. There is also a useful video and information on the St John Ambulance website. www.sja.org.uk
The Widnes Group are indebted to Peter and his Masonic Order for their generosity in ensuring that Widnes Group has the appropriate lifesaving equipment available should the worst scenario ever happen. The machine will now be registered with the emergency services and should anyone make a 999 call for medical assistance within the immediate vicinity of our machine they will be advised of its location.
At the end of the demonstration Peter thanked Janet for her informative talk and the humorous manner in which she got the message across. Peter also thanked all those present for their attendance. All present were then given the opportunity to practice their CPR on two dummies and also the working of the defibrillator.
Location of the defibrillator.
Where the electrodes should be attached.
Andy Maginn practices CPR.
Members in discussion with Janet at the white board.