Following the death of businessman, Jon Woodhouse of West Boldon, to a sudden cardiac arrest, a fund-raising campaign was launched by his family to raise money for defibrillators to be installed in the local area.
The fund raised over £5,000, meaning four defibrillators could be bought.
In response to this, HLA Services Ltd teamed up with charity, Red Sky Foundation, to supply and install life-saving machines in the area.
So far, public access defibrillators have been installed outside of West Boldon Post office and at HLA Services, Boldon Business Park, Boldon. A further four will be installed in Cleadon, East Boldon, Boldon Colliery and another location which is not yet confirmed, all of which HLA Services is fitting free of charge.
HLA Services works across numerous sectors including construction, manufacturing, retail, education and hospitality and is one of the North’s leading mechanical, air conditioning, climate systems and temperature control specialists. Customers include Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham Universities, Hays Travel, Caterpillar UK and Durham Cricket club.
Headquartered in Boldon, the company has satellite offices in Teesside, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
Neil Henry, director at HLA Services, said: “Both from a business and social context, we knew Jon Woodhouse very well. Alongside his brother, Chris, they formed Redman Design, who work closely with our business. Jon was also a good friend.”
Paul Smith also a director at HLA Services, added: “We wanted to support Chris, who originally teamed up with Red Sky Foundation, to bring life-saving equipment to the borough, as a direct response to Jon’s tragic death.”
Red Sky Foundation’s mission is to make life better for cardiac patients who are born with, or develop heart conditions, by providing lifelong support to them and their families. This is achieved by supporting, relieving sickness and preserving the health of individuals across the region, by assisting in the provision of grants, equipment and awareness, in particular, to the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, regional health services within the NHS and other charitable organisations.
Red Sky Foundation’s activities also provides life-saving defibrillators for local school and public spaces, whilst collaborating with third party organisations to offer training and education to the general public on the use of the equipment and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) through to advanced support for babies, children and adults with heart problems and their families.
Sergio Petrucci, founder of Red Sky Foundation, said: “HLA Services has provided a fantastic service in supporting our aim of delivering life-saving defibrillators to local communities.
“We work closely with NHS Hospitals, local councils and schools to raise awareness and encourage organisations to adopt a Red Sky AED defibrillator.
“It is particularly pleasing to see more defibrillators installed in South Tyneside. Currently, there are only eight public access sites to defibrillators compared to 43 located across Sunderland.
“In the North East, we know that only 8.7% of patients who had resuscitation attempted on them survived to be discharged from hospital. A victim’s chance of survival falls by around 7 to 10 percent with every minute that defibrillation is delayed. When a heart stops beating, oxygen is not being transported to the brain and other vital organs and, within four to five minutes, brain damage will start to occur without intervention.
“Our vision is that defibrillators will be accessible for those who require life-saving treatment for cardiac arrest in public community areas 24 hours a day.”