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June 2023

New life saving defibrillator installed at Porthpean beach.

Regular sea swimmer Liza Crabtree, Cornish charity FLEET and Duchy Defibrillators worked together tirelessly to make sure the defib was in operation for the thousands of people who use Porthpean beach each year.

Previously, the closest public access defibrillator – a portable medical device used to provide a high energy electric shock to someone in cardiac arrest – was at Porthpean village.

Alan Odgers, founder of Duchy Defibrillators, which supplies, installs, and monitors hundreds of defibs across Devon and Cornwall, said: “There is no doubt this defibrillator will benefit the local community, as well as the beach users. Defibrillators are a priceless piece of kit that anyone can use – if there is one nearby.

“We are extremely proud to have played a part in making that happen. Every second counts when responding to a sudden cardiac arrest.”

In 2021 Liza, who regularly swims at Porthpean, became concerned about the lack of a defibrillator near the beach and made it her mission to get one installed.

“The small beach has really grown in popularity over the years, with a vast number of cold-water activities taking place,” Liza explained. “Yes, there’s a defibrillator in the village itself, but there needed to be one far more accessible than that.

“Everyone immediately backed the idea, and FLEET donated a defibrillator, but I still needed to raise a lot of funds to have it safely installed, as well as jumping through several bureaucratic hoops.”

But Liza’s hard work paid off, with the defibrillator being installed on the wall of Porthpean Sailing Club by Duchy Defibrillators in January.

“Working with Alan has been wonderful,” said Liza. “He’s calm, knowledgeable and reassuring – especially during times when I was almost thinking about forgetting the entire project.

“The relief that the defibrillator is in situ is enormous. Should the very worst happen, we are ready. We have an accessible piece of kit which could save a life. Of course, even after all this work, I’m hoping we’ll never need to use it.”

Christian Brown from FLEET continues “The defibrillator at Porthpean is now ready and available for the public to use in the eventuality of a serious medical emergency before the Ambulance Service arrive.

In cases of sudden cardiac arrest every minute really does count. This equipment adds to the several hundred that we have already provided throughout the County which has been made possible through the ongoing collaboration between FLEET, Duchy Defibrillators and the generosity of local people.

This is the first public access defibrillator that we have installed with grant funding from NHS Kernow which aims to promote access, availability, and user awareness of public access defibrillators across Cornwall.

Thank you to all those who continue to support the charity