Durham Cathedral’s campaign to install Automated External Defibrillators in the Cathedral Church and its precincts is well underway thanks to a grant from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham of £1,600.
A defibrillator is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses and treats Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
In other situations, where defibrillators have been placed in the community, it has been shown to greatly improve survival rates, and with the Cathedral situated at the top of the Bailey, where access is sometimes restricted, we hope that the installation of defibrillators will allow for a quick and timely response should there ever be an emergency.
The Dean of Durham Cathedral, The Very Rev Michael Sadgrove said, “The sanctuary knocker on Durham Cathedral’s north door reminds us of the Cathedral’s important role, throughout history, as a ‘safe place‘. Today, we extend our ministry of welcome to over 600,000 visitors every year, and their safety is of the utmost importance to us. As such, we are committed to equipping our building and preparing our staff and volunteers to deal with emergency situations, including the onset of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. We are so grateful to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham for their generosity, which could one day mean the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”
Malcolm Wilkinson, a Cathedral Guide and Steward, and member of the Benevolent Committee of the Province of Durham was the crucial link between the two organisations. He said, “I was delighted to take to the committee the request for the grant towards the cost of the defibrillator. There has been a long association between Freemasons and the Cathedral, both of which I am privileged to serve. In an emergency, I know how important this equipment might be and I’m so pleased the Freemasons of Durham have been able to help towards the cost of providing it.”
Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Webster said, “Freemasons have been supporting Durham Cathedral for many centuries and when we heard of the desire to make this lifesaving equipment available in the Cathedral, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham was very pleased to assist by supplying sufficient funds to buy a defibrillator for the benefit of all who worship and visit there”.
Key Account Coordinator for St John Ambulance Commercial Training Division, Tom Dawson said, “St John Ambulance are committed to promoting the installation of defibrillators in as wide a variety of locations as possible and providing training of both CPR and use of defibrillators, and we are delighted to work at a local level with Durham Cathedral to consider the installation of defibrillators and the training of staff.”
On Tuesday 8th May 2012, the Chairman of the Provincial Benevolent Committee, AsstPGM John Webster accompanied by WBro Malcolm Wilkinson, the Benevolent Representative of Lodge Stewart No4261 attended the Cathedral where they presented a defibrillator to The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove MA FRSA DL, Dean of Durham Cathedral.