Defibrillator saves lives in local community

A Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) which has been sponsored by, and installed outside, Ian Hazel Funeral Directors on Lichfield Road in Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, has already been used twice since its installation in August 2017.

The life-saving device set up outside the funeral home as a result of the business winning The 2016 National Love Energy Savings Award, in the ‘Innovative Saver Category’. It was then that Ian Hazel decided to invest the cash prize he received from the award into a local community project.

Back in 2016, Hazel had been approached by councillor Charlotte Hodivala (then mayor of The Royal Sutton Coldfield Town council) and councillor Clare Horrocks when they visited his eco-friendly funeral home, to see the energy saving and environmentally friendly features. It was then when they mentioned the town council’s wishes to have defibrillators installed in all the local communities of Sutton Coldfield.

After a lot of research by the town council, it was agreed to go with the Community Heartbeat Trust project, as it takes care of maintenance and insurance as well as offering training.

Once installed, Ian Hazel Funerals hosted a community training session, put on by Community Heartbeat Trust attended by over 40 local residents, business owners and other interested parties, to learn more about how to use the defibrillator and what to do until the emergency services arrive.

Hazel said: “I felt this was a very worthy cause, and met the criteria of how I wanted to put something back into the community for the benefit of all, so I was very happy to commit the prize money to sponsor a unit in Mere Green.

“I have learnt that when a person is in cardiac arrest, time is of the essence. Minutes can mean the difference between full recovery or not. By providing a defibrillator for our local community, it will make a significant difference to anyone who needs help in an emergency.”

Councillor Clare Horrocks added: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Ian, Amy and the team at Ian Hazel to deliver this project into the community. Ian Hazel has been incredibly supportive of the town council since its inception, and continued to work closely with us even after the installation had taken place. They supported a first aid defibrillator training session and have since become involved in our Sutton In Bloom entry too. They are a fantastic example of how a local business can make a positive difference to its community.”

Derrick Griffin, present mayor of Royal Sutton Coldfield town council, added: “I am delighted that Ian Hazel’s have funded and installed a defibrillator outside their premises and hosted the training to enable to use this vital lifesaving equipment. Ian and his team are exceptionally community minded, and their support for many aspects of town life is welcomed and commended.”

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