Transport for Wales rolls out life-saving defibrillator scheme to stations across Wales
Work is continuing to install over 200 defibrillators at railway stations and in communities across Wales according to Transport for Wales (TfW).
Before the rollout began in February this year, there were just a handful of defibrillators on the network.
During phase one of the initiative around another 50 devices were installed around Wales, and the latest phase of the initiative will see the rollout of more of the life-saving devices at stations across the Wales and Borders rail network.
Once ready for use the defibrillators will be registered on the British Heart Foundation’s bespoke portal, called The Circuit.
The Circuit maps out defibrillators for NHS ambulance services across the UK so in the crucial moments after a cardiac arrest, they can swiftly direct members of the public to the nearest defibrillator.
The project has been organised by TfW’s Rail Infrastructure Director Karl Gilmore, who said: “All of the defibrillators will be available 24 hours a day but, more crucially, they will all be listed on The Circuit so emergency services staff know where they are located.
“Our staff will be given training on how to use the defibrillators and we’re working with charities and other organisations to make sure we can roll out training into communities.”
Defibrillators are important portable life-saving devices that can give a casualty’s heart an electric shock when it has stopped beating, normally in a sudden cardiac arrest.
According to British Heart Foundation Cymru, there are around 2,800 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Wales each year, but just one in 20 people survive.
Survival rates fall by 10% every minute without CPR or by using a defibrillator
Using a defibrillator within three minutes of a cardiac arrest can improve a person’s chance of survival by as much as 70%.
Lisa Cleminson, Transport for Wales’ Stations Director, said: “We’re proud to be rolling out defibrillators across the Wales and Borders network. These yellow boxes are vitally important in helping those who experience a cardiac arrest, be they TfW customers, colleagues or someone in the local community.
“We already have defibrillators in many of our stations across our network, and these additional new machines will become a valuable life-saving resource.”
“We’re encouraging customers and community to support us in keeping this equipment safe and secure by being vigilant and reporting any incidences of vandalism immediately to British Transport Police by texting 61016.”
Antony Kelly, Construction Director at Egis, said: “It’s not often you get to work on a project that you know has a direct and tangible effect on people’s lives, and certainly not one that can directly save lives.
“Having personally felt the impact of an immediate family member who died from cardiac arrest, it’s even more disappointing to hear that the defibrillators that TfW are investing in, are being mindlessly vandalised.
“These units are here to save lives, it could be yours or a family member who needs one, and you won’t know when you need it. If we see this out on the network, whether on duty or not, I urge everyone to report and help protect these assets. It is a criminal offence.
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