Sunderland charity Red Sky Ball have paid for two life-saving defibrillator units in the city centre after the original machine was destroyed by vandals.
The cause usually raises money to help the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF), but after hearing about the loss of the machine, which had saved three lives before it was damaged, Red Sky Ball organisers decided to use some of their funds to reinstall the unit, as well as providing an additional machine.
Sergio Petrucci, from Red Sky Ball, said: “I was shocked to hear that this vital machine had been damaged. The defibrillator had actually already saved three lives prior to it being vandalised, so we thought it crucial that we used some of the funds we have raised to restore it back to full working order. At the same time we identified that the installation of another machine would create an even safer environment for visitors to Sunderland city centre, so we took the decision to invest in another unit.”
He added: “The continued support we get from our sponsors and guests of Red Sky Ball means we’ve been able to spread the funds a little bit further. “Using CPR alone provides a 5% chance of survival but early use of the equipment actually increases the chance of survival to over 50%, which is why we were so eager to put the life-saving equipment into our city centre.”
The existing unit was restored to full working order and replaced outside of Boots on High Street West and another new unit has been fitted outside of The Pickle Bar on Green Terrace. Both units were kindly installed by the team from Fusion Electrical Contractors.
Sunderland couple Sergio and Emma Petrucci, who have raised more than £250,000 for charity, have been working with non-profit organisations Cardioproof and North East Hearts with Goals to source the replacement machines.
Professor Michael Norton, founder of Cardioproof, said: “These machines will save lives in more immediately life-threatening emergencies. We believe it will make the difference between life and death. It’s wonderful news for Sunderland that through the efforts of Sergio and Emma’s Red Sky Ball and its supporters the city centre is now a safer place to visit.”
Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID, said: “We are delighted that Red Sky Ball have provided the additional defibrillators in the city centre. These are vital life-saving pieces of equipment and are a great addition to the city centre, we’re very grateful to the organisers
of Red Sky Ball.”
•As part of the new installations the North East Ambulance Service have teamed up with Red Sky Ball to provide a free-of-charge defibrillator training session between 10am – 12pm on Wednesday, October 10 at The Looking Glass in Sunniside which is available to anyone who would like to attend.