Collapse sparks need for new defibrillator at Whitby’s Eskdale School playing fields

From left: Fishburn Park U13 treasurer Luke Walker, c.ub treasurer Mark Burnett, U13 players Josh Walker and Tom Layton, U13 manager Rob Layton and Paul Dixon, Deputy Head of Eskdale School.
From left: Fishburn Park U13 treasurer Luke Walker, c.ub treasurer Mark Burnett, U13 players Josh Walker and Tom Layton, U13 manager Rob Layton and Paul Dixon, Deputy Head of Eskdale School.

A new life-saving defibrillator has been put in place at Eskdale School playing fields following an incident in which a spectator collapsed.

It meant someone having to sprint round the main road to the front of the school to access the defibrillator there and by the time they returned, the ambulance had arrived.

Thankfully, the spectator – who was watching his grandchild play for Fishburn Park juniors – turned out to be okay.

But Sarah Layton, whose husband Rob coaches the Park under 13s team, wants the wider community to be aware that now a second defibrillator and its heated case have been placed on an outer wall at Eskdale, closer to the school fields, for the benefit of players, coaches, volunteers and spectators as well as also being available to the school.

“It got us thinking ‘what about next time?’ Time is paramount in cases like this,” she told the Whitby Gazette.

“This gets it out there to the wider public that it’s there in situ at Eskdale and is ready to save lives if needed.”

Fishburn Park Juniors looked into buying the defibrillator and outdoor case to be placed at Eskdale playing fields, where Fishburn are based, with six juniors teams and two senior teams.

They found out that the Football Association had teamed up with the British Heart Foundation to get more defibrillators at grassroots community clubs.

The defibrillator and cabinet cost just shy of £850 but the club was helped by a grant of £1,000 from a now disbanded charity. The club was given the surplus from the grant and they paid the £250 for the electrical bill.

Sarah wanted to say a huge thank you to all those involved.

“The final steps of getting the defibrillator in situ couldn’t have gone ahead without the co-operation of Eskdale School and Trevor the caretaker, who has been a diamond,” she added.

The Gazette recently spotlighted how community groups in the town are pulling together to fund-raise for 10 defibrillators in Whitby following the death of 47-year-old harbour watchkeeper Johnie Wright, who suffered a heart attack on his way to work.

By ringing 999, callers will find out the location of the nearest unit, along with the code to open the box. Once attached to the person in trouble, themachine will decide whether to administer a life-saving shock.