Monday, April 12, 2021
Chipping in to save lives
In Belgium, every year about 10,000 to 11,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital (figures Belgian Resuscitation Council), 17-30% of them in a public place (figures from the Federal Healthcare Knowledge Centre, 2017). The use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) by accidental bystanders increases the chance of survival of the victim.
Under the motto ‘Your Spar has a heart for the neighbourhood’, more than 60 Spar Colruyt Group stores organised a crowdfunding campaign from 4 to 31 March for the purchase of an automated external defibrillator, which they now make available on the exterior of their shop. For the campaign, the Spar stores worked together with HeartSaver, a non-profit organisation that encourages the provision of more publicly available heart restarters or automated external defibrillators, and CardioService, which takes care of the installation and maintenance of the devices.
Heartwarming result in Sint-Genesius-Rode
“We wanted to give something back to the neighbourhood and so we immediately supported this initiative,” says Wim Ameys, self-employed entrepreneur of Spar Sint-Genesius-Rode and Spar Halle. “The campaign was particularly successful in Sint-Genesius-Rode, thanks to the Red Cross: during the first few days, some of their employees were present to demonstrate the operation of a defibrillator. We raised over €3,500 in that store, a fantastic result. With that, we financed the purchase of the device and donated the rest to the local Red Cross branch. In our store in Halle, the campaign also went well, and we supplemented the missing amount for the purchase of the device. We are also happy to take care of the power and maintenance for both devices.”
Second unit for Spar Le Roeulx
“We launched our fundraising campaign with a fun video on social media,” says Pierre Thomas of Spar Le Roeulx. “That was an instant success! In the store, too, all the employees talked to the customers at the cash register about our action. And we contacted the regional press. Thanks to the generous contributions of our customers and local businesses and associations, after just three days we collected enough money to buy a device for our store. And a week later, even for a second device. It will be installed in the centre of our city. I am so proud that we, as a local shop, were able to accomplish such a beautiful project. I hope that other shops will follow our example, because this fits in perfectly with our values.”
HeartSaver is a non-profit organisation that works to increase the number of publicly available heart restarters or Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Belgium by lobbying, raising awareness and funds to keep the financial threshold for the purchase and maintenance of heart restarters as low as possible. Since 2016, HeartSaver has been organising the HeartSaver AED Fundraising School Project to equip schools in Flanders that do not yet have a heart restarter with an AED that is available 24/7. HeartSaver also cooperates with companies and local organisations in the field of heart safety and the implementation of public heart starters. More information on www.heart-saver.eu
CardioService develops services to save lives in cases of sudden cardiac death. That is why CardioService offers AEDs for enterprises and public service providers. In addition, it offers the possibility of both renting and buying the devices, which allows each customer to choose a tailor-made formula. In addition, CardioService wants to play a pioneering role in spreading knowledge of sudden cardiac death and in raising awareness of the benefits of AEDs. For more information, please find the contact details below: www.cardioservice.eu