Everyone knows that the health of the animals kept at Durrell’s Wildlife Park in Trinity is of the upmost importance. But staff take the health of the Park’s visitors just as seriously and they now have a new piece of emergency equipment to help them do just that.
An AED – automated external defibrillator – has been generously donated to the Trust by the Rotary Club of Jersey and supplied by St John Ambulance, Jersey. Although there has always been an AED in the Park’s Visitor Centre, this second unit will be located in the Princess Royal Pavilion and will provide double the cover if a visitor suffers a heart attack.
Bruno Melim Health & Safety Co-ordinator at Durrell said: “The Wildlife Park is a 32-acre site and has a vast turnaround of visitors every year. We take the health and safety of those visitors very seriously and have 20 trained first aiders and nine staff trained to use an AED. Immediate defibrillation can be the difference between life and death and having an additional unit located within the Park means that we can more effectively deal with any potential incidents.”
An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses and treats life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias through the application of electrical therapy, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.
Helen Woolsey from St John Ambulance, Jersey said: “Around 30,000 people have a cardiac arrest – heart attack – each year outside the confines of a hospital and the chance of survival after the heart stops falls by about 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. It can take the emergency services several minutes, and sometimes longer, to arrive making it essential to have AED on location in places like Durrell.”
The donation of an AED to Durrell by the Rotary Club of Jersey now takes the number of defibrillators throughout the Island to 128.
Kevin Golder, Immediate Past President, Rotary Club Jersey said “It is a real pleasure to be able to donate a defibrillator to Durrell; it is reassuring to know that there are 128 on the island and coupled with the training given any heart attack victim stands a better chance of recovery with this assistance.”