Access to life-saving defibrillators now at stations across Wales

Installation of over 200 life-saving defibrillators has begun at TfW stations across Wales and the borders.

Access to life-saving defibrillators now at stations across Wales

Credit: TfW

Work has begun to install more than 200 life-saving defibrillators at Transport for Wales (TfW) railway stations across Wales and the borders. Coinciding with Defibruary, a month-long campaign by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust to raise awareness of the importance of defibrillators, the first phase of the programme will see defibrillators placed into 53 TfW stations.

The remaining defibrillators will be installed later this spring, and once ready for use they will be uploaded onto the British Heart Foundation’s bespoke portal, called The Circuit, in partnership with St John Ambulance, the Resuscitation Council UK and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. The Circuit maps 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.

“Our life-saving defibrillators are so important in helping those who may experience a cardiac arrest, be they TfW customers, colleagues or someone in the local community,” Jeremy Williams, Transport for Wales Head of Stations, said. “We already have some defibrillators across the Wales and Borders route and these additional 200 machines will become a valuable life-saving resource.”

“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,” Karl Gilmore, Rail Infrastructure for TfW, said. “Our staff will be given training on how to use the defibrillators and we are working with charities and other organisations to make sure we can roll out training into communities.”

The initiative has been strongly supported by British Heart Foundation Cymru and the Welsh Ambulance Service. Using a defibrillator greatly improves a person’s chances of survival if they have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

“To put it simply, being able to access a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death,” Adam Fletcher, Head of BHF Cymru said. “We know defibrillators save lives and it’s why we are so proud to be working with Transport for Wales. They have made a big investment to get 200 defibrillators out across the rail network and we hope other organisations will follow their example.”

Survival rates fall by 10 per cent every minute without CPR or by using a defibrillator and using a defibrillator within three minutes of a cardiac arrest can improve a person’s chance of survival by as much as 70 per cent.

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