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Clubs to get vital training

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 February 2014

The Essex FA have been staging special training with defribillators

The Essex FA have been staging special training with defribillators

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A further nine Essex clubs will receive vital defibrillator training on Monday February 17 as the Essex FA continue to equip the county with life-saving equipment.

In a unique partnership between the British Heart Foundation and The FA, more than 900 defibrillators have been made available to clubs at Steps One to Six of the National League System - as well as clubs in the Women’s Super League - in a bid to help save the lives of cardiac arrest casualties.

National awareness of serious heart conditions in active sport were thrust into the limelight when Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba suffered an arrest during a televised FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.

Muamba’s story is quite remarkable, with an average of just one in five people surviving a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.

The England under-21 international’s chances were heightened by the presence of a defibrillator at White Hart Lane and a number of Essex non-league clubs seized the opportunity of possessing a defibrillator with fully trained personnel at their ground.

Members from Burnham Ramblers, Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Stansted and Takeley attended dedicated training held at the county office in Chelmsford towards the end of 2013.

Essex FA coaching development officer Gary Piggott said: “All of our step six and above clubs were contacted by The FA to offer them the opportunity to apply for the training. Those who were successful have now taken away a defibrillator at two thirds of the normal cost thanks to The FA and the British Heart Foundation.

“We are going to be holding another evening on February 17 which we are sure will be just as successful.

“This vital piece of equipment could prove to be difference between life and death and it’s a welcome addition to these clubs and their communities.

“The FA and the BHF have made it possible for these clubs to be part of the drive to improve the UK’s poor cardiac arrest survival rates. Along with CPR, a defibrillator is a vital link in the chain of survival and we’re lucky that we now have the skills and equipment at these clubs to save a life.”

Neil Bitting, The FA’s regional medical co-ordinator, led the training which showed how a defibrillator gives the heart a controlled electrical shock during cardiac arrest.

For every minute which passes without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by about ten per cent.

Research shows that giving CPR, and a controlled shock, within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chance of survival if CPR has been carried out well.

To find out more about the work of the British Heart Foundation, visit www.bhf.org.uk/football.

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