Cumbria Crack

Lakes park brings medical lifeline to community

Skelwith Fold’s park manager Geoff Elliot with the defibrillator, housed in a special self-heating cabinet

[L]ife-saving medical equipment is now available at a Lake District caravan park where the number of guests in summer can almost equal the 2,600 population of nearby Ambleside.

Skelwith Fold says its £2,000 investment in a state-of-the-art defibrillator unit could greatly increase the chances of survival for someone suffering cardiac arrest.

Linked to the North West Ambulance Service’s first responder network, it is available both to park guests and to residents of the local community.

The equipment delivers an electric pulse through the victim’s chest to restore normal heart rhythms, but is much more likely to be effective if used immediately after an attack.

With the park’s hideaway location deep in Lake District countryside, says director Henry Wild, the defibrillator could save vital minutes in delivering treatment to a victim.

With its 450 holiday home and touring pitches, Henry points out, the park’s summer population can swell to that of a good-size village:

“That can seem difficult to believe when you’re here as the park covers well over a hundred acres, but it means we’re far from immune from medical emergencies arising.

“Having a safeguard such as this ready for instant deployment could make a crucial difference, and especially in summer when travelling times are lengthened by traffic volumes,” says Henry.

The defibrillator has been provided by the North West Ambulance Service who will be providing training in its use to selected members of Skelwith Fold’s staff.

But the park itself had to fund the purchase of a special £2,000 defibrillator cabinet with an internal heating mechanism to keep the equipment at the optimal operating temperature.

“The equipment is, of course, something which you hope will never be needed – but we are mindful of its life-saving potential, especially in a remote rural area such as this,” said Henry.

“Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one killer in Britain, and a close-at-hand defibrillator on the park could dramatically increase a person’s life chances.

“I hope it will also provide a reassurance to any guests who feel above-averagely exposed to such a condition arising, perhaps because of their medical history,” he added.

Earlier this summer, Skelwith Fold was crowned as Britain’s ethical business of the year in the Federation of Small Businesses and Worldpay UK Business Awards 2017.

There is more information about the park at

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