The life-saving efforts of the Ely branch of St John Ambulance have been boosted thanks to the arrival of a new automated external defibrillator.

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Paul Fedarb, manager of St John Ambulance’s Ely unit, was presented with the new piece of equipment at the unit’s first meeting of the year.

Fundraising efforts for the defibrillator were started last year by Ely unit volunteer Ed Murphy, who raised £500 by competing the Great East Run.

This figure was boosted by collections at stalls and in the street, plus donations from local organisations such as the Freemasons and the Rotary Club, all of which brought in a further £1,900.

Tony Curd, St John Ambulance district manager with responsibility for Cambridgeshire, said: “This is a fantastic fundraising effort and I’d like to personally thank unit volunteers, members of the public and the local organisations who enabled this vital piece of equipment to be purchased.

“Although we hope it never has to be used, residents in Ely and surrounding communities should feel reassured that their local St John Ambulance unit now not only has this defibrillator but also trained volunteers who are able to deploy it to save lives.”

Paul Fedarb added: “It’s great news that we have this defibrillator as they can be real life savers in cardiac arrest casualties and the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

“I’m really proud of the unit and the efforts that were put into securing the money needed for the kit.

“We’re not stopping at that, though, and are currently embarking upon a new project to raise funds for an airway training manikin to help us to develop our life saving skills to an even higher standard.”

For information about the work of St John Ambulance, go to www.sja.org.uk

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