IT consultancy and services provider Optimising IT has funded the purchase of a life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED) for the weekly parkrun in Cheltenham.
The companys Managing Director, Gary Smith, is a regular participant in the Saturday morning 5k run at Pittville Park. Service Desk Manager Charlie Haward is on the Cheltenham parkrun Core Team and regularly steps up to the role of the events Run Director, and other members of the team have also taken part.
The parkrun team are very aware about the health and safety of parkrunners and the AED is really important should the worst ever happen and someone taking part has a cardiac arrest, explained Charlie.
According to British Heart Foundation figures, a persons chance of survival falls by up to 10% with every minute that defibrillation is delayed and only rarely are the emergency medical services able to attend and provide defibrillation early enough.
Charlie added: The best way to improve these chances is to have an AED readily available at parkrun. Modern devices are automated and simple to use while an ambulance is called. As a company, we are very proud to be involved with Cheltenham parkrun and we are delighted to able to provide this vital piece of equipment.
Malc Smith, Event Director of Cheltenham parkrun was pleased to receive the AED from Gary on Saturday, commenting Cheltenham parkrun is organised by volunteers and is free to take part in. Although it is not a race, many do try their hardest, and to now have an AED on hand is a wonderful addition, just in case someone needs it. Many thanks to Optimising IT for this very generous and community-minded contribution.
The parkrun in Cheltenham is one of thousands held all over the UK, and across the globe, every Saturday morning. An average of 325 runners take part in the Cheltenham event each week and more than 9,000 people have run the Pittville Park course since the event started in February 2013. The events record attendance was on 7th January this year when 531 runners took part.