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Latest life-saving equipment installed in Burnley centre

Release date: 
Wednesday, 2 November, 2016

Another piece of life-saving equipment has been installed in Burnley town centre.

Burnley Council has been working with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to install defibrillator units in public places across the town.

The briefcase-sized defibrillators are available in Burnley Town Hall, Burnley Market Hall, the Mechanics Theatre, Towneley Hall and Contact Burnley.

The latest unit has been installed outside Marks & Spencer and is available for use in an emergency if someone suffers a heart attack. It was installed as part of the ongoing major refurbishment of the town centre.

Council leader Mark Townsend, who was behind getting the initiative off the ground, said: “It’s good to see these defibrillator units being installed across Burnley.

“When someone suffers cardiac arrest it’s vital they get help as quickly as possible. Whilst I hope they never have to be used, it’s good to know they are easily available and could help save someone’s life if the worst happens”

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest.

When trying to help a sudden cardiac arrest victim, every second counts. Each minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chances of survival by ten per cent. When used quickly, defibrillators can save lives.

The units come with full instructions and are designed to be used by people even if they have no first aid training. The secure unit is covered by CCTV cameras.  If a person dials 999 and states that someone has suffered cardiac arrest then the emergency operator will give a code number that is used by a member of the public to open the defibrillator cabinet and remove the defibrillator. 

As this is taking place paramedics are already on their way.  It is this intervention that could save someone’s life whilst awaiting the paramedics.

The machine has voice prompts and informative visual displays. Once in position, it detects the heart’s rhythm and it won’t deliver a shock unless one is needed.

North West Ambulance Service community resuscitation development officer Jane Atkinson said: “When someone goes into cardiac arrest, it is vital to recognise the emergency, start CPR but also to get the defibrillator and apply the pads.

“There are an increasing number of people saved by automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as quick intervention significantly improves the chances of survival.

“Working in partnership with Burnley Council, we want to encourage members of the public to take the time to learn crucial skills but there is a great need for defibrillators to be placed in areas where people gather and there is a higher risk of cardiac arrest. We also want people to register their defibrillators, bought privately or through a charity, with the ambulance service. This is so we can alert callers of nearby defibrillators should one be needed in an emergency situation.

“We are confident that if more people were trained in life saving skills and if more defibrillators are placed in public places, up to half of the deaths by cardiac arrest could potentially be prevented.”

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