Defibrillator and Support team for Holywell Town Centre



Following on from an initiative by the Flint and Holywell Rotary Club, a new life saving support team will very soon be operating in Holywell Town Centre. 2 years ago, the Rotary Club started a project to provide lifesaving defibrillators within the community.  Rather than just put these defibrillators in locked boxes, these would be provided to teams of specially trained first responders, who would be activated to emergencies by Ambulance Control immediately on receipt of a 999 call. The first team of trained responders to benefit from this initiative were in Bagillt, where Rotary purchased their defibrillator at a cost of £780.00. and this team have now been operating very successfully for well over a year.

Russ Warburton, a well known shop owner in Holywell High Street was very attracted to the Rotary project, and he has successfully recruited a team of 9 other local traders in the High Street to be trained in basic life support.  The team now have a defibrillator, and will very soon have a mobile phone directly linked to Ambulance Control.  As such they will be able to respond at least 6 days each week, and cover the key hours of 9am to 5pm, and hopefully more.

Russ says that in the past few years there have been several collapses in the High Street, and those giving assistance have been very limited in what they have been able to do.  He was spurred into action when recently there was a cardiac arrest in the High Street, and it took quite some time for an ambulance to arrive.  Regrettably, whilst there are at least 7 defibrillators in Holywell, he stated that none are readily available.  Indeed the  only readily accessible defibrillator is outside the Fire Station, but in times of sudden collapse when time is of the essence, running up and down Whitford Street will be a pointless exercise.

Russ and his team have been trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service in applying chest compressions and using the defibrillator and will be tasked very quickly to anyone having a cardiac arrest.  It is a well-established fact that if chest compressions can be started quickly, followed by a defibrillator, then those experiencing cardiac arrest will have a very high chance of recovery with further hospital treatment.

Many of Holywell’s local traders in this scheme are very keen to progress to becoming fully trained first responders, and hopefully this will happen very soon.  They will then be able to deal with emergencies such as heart attacks, choking and serious bleeding in both adults and children. David Roberts, vice president of the Rotary Club, and the coordinator of the Bagillt First Responder team said “this commitment by the Holywell High Street traders is fantastic, and will prove to be invaluable.  The residents of Holywell are fortunate indeed to have such community minded citizens who have committed so much time and energy to ensure the success of this venture.

Rob Board who has been the Rotary Club’s main promoter and organiser of the scheme added that the participants have all been professionally trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service. It has been a pleasure for Rotary to have been able to support this initiative, Rob confirmed  and he added that the Club  will continue to consider funding as and when needed”. The residents of Holywell give most generously to the Club’s fund raising efforts throughout the year and it is this magnificent generosity that increases every year that enables the Rotary Club to support such wonderful schemes


Footnote – if anyone in Holywell, Bagillt, Caerwys and Halkyn is interested in knowing more about becoming a trained First Responder, they can leave their contact details on the Flint and Holywell Rotary Club webpage,  and they will be contacted. Bagillt Community First Responders also have a facebook page


Russ Warberton, (right) the Holywell Town Centre scheme coordinator, receiving the defibrillator pack from David Roberts, Vice President of Flint and Holywell Rotary Club, and coordinator of Bagillt First Responder team :

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