Following COVID three of Castle Minibus’ staff Nathan Kempson, Joe Varney and Eleanor Fry undertook First Aid training.

It was on this course that the reality of the distance to the nearest defibrillator hit home for Nathan Kempson, Rentals & Operations Manager in particular. He comments ‘I suddenly realised that we had no access to a device that could increase someone’s survival rate by 80%. You need to apply this kind of emergency treatment within 4 minutes, and I realised that we’re a good 8-10 minutes away from the nearest AED  – if anyone would even know where it was’

Castle Minibus is situated on Wedgwood Road amongst many other businesses, offices and units – where there are a lot of vehicles and drivers that come and go all day. It is estimated that over 20% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in a public place, and therefore your survival rate depends on the wherewithal of your colleagues or the general public – and the equipment available to them. Using CPR alone can double the chances of survival, but quality CPR coupled with a defibrillator can increase survival rates from 6% to 74%.

There is now an AED installed on Wedgwood Road, outside Castle Minibus’ front door. So far seven of the neighbouring businesses have contributed to the £1700 it cost to install – Bicester Computer Clinic, Pride Mobility, Clean Genie, Reliance Auto Test, Calpeda, Davies International and Webmart.

Chris Maynard, MD of Castle Minibus concludes ‘We hope that we, and the businesses on Wedgwood Road, never need to use the AED but it is good to know it is there in case of an emergency. I’d like to thank my staff for being so passionate about their First Aid responsibilities. Even those who have not had first aid training should not be scared to use the AEDs and I would encourage everyone to watch the Heart Foundation’s 15-minute training video on CPR so if the worst does happen they will at least have had some training’