A potentially life-saving defibrillator has been installed outside the Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club’s premises, following support from four local businesses.
Swoffers, Gower Financial Services, Matt Walsh Box Cardio Tech, and the Guernsey Dental Laboratory, got together to buy the defibrillator so that it would be on hand in an emergency.
Swoffers director Spencer Noyon said the importance of accessible defibrillators was brought into sharp focus last summer when Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed during a game at the Euro 2020s.
‘It really struck me that a cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
‘Christian Eriksen was resuscitated on the pitch using a defibrillator, and this underlined the need for sports clubs and organisations to have the emergency life-saving equipment.
‘Last year Swoffers, along with other businesses, paid for three defibrillators at local football grounds, and this year we’re more than happy to extend that to the boxing club.’
The Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club was established in 1935 and, at its premises in the Route des Coutures in St Martin’s, it provides a safe place for personal training sessions and for learning and progressing in boxing.
The island’s boxing development officer Amanda Hobart said they hoped they would never have to use the defibrillator, but it was reassuring to know that it was there.
‘We were so pleased to receive it, it’s great to have it not just for the club, but for the community of St Martin’s.
‘We don’t all know what our genetic make-up is, a cardiac arrest could happen to any of us, someone just walking past the club could have a heart attack, so the more people that know it’s there the better.’
Defibrillators analyse a heart rhythm and, if necessary, automatically give a high energy electric shock to the heart to restore a more stable rhythm.
The compact devices are easy to use and don’t require prior training, the machines guide the lay person through the process by audio instructions and visual prompts.
Very little routine maintenance is required because they are designed to be stored for long periods without use.
Mike Froome from the Guernsey Cardiac Action Group said having a defibrillator close to hand could mean the difference between life and death because time is vital in these situations.
‘There’s a delay if you have to wait for an ambulance to get somewhere like the boxing club in St Martins, and every minute of delay means a 10% less chance of survival from cardiac arrest.
‘The more that we can put around the island, especially in public places, the better.
‘There are lots of houses around the boxing club, there’s a school nearby, there’re people walking up and down the street, so it’s a fantastic place to have one.’
Image L to R: Mark Clapham (Guernsey Dental Lab), Dave Haddlington (Boxing Club President), Scott Rowe (Gower Financial Services), Matt Walsh (Matt Walsh Box Cardio Tech), Spencer Noyon (Swoffers)