Following news in July that all state-funded schools will have life-saving defibrillators by 2023, a further 46 additional units are being installed in public spaces across Wirral in the next six months.
Defibrillators have the potential to save lives, with latest research showing that accessing these devices within 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%.
Many of the 46 sites in Wirral are in public parks, open spaces and football pitches. Should anyone require the use of a defibrillator, when they ring 999 they will be directed to the location of the nearest unit by North West Ambulance Service. Access is via a locked key coded cabinet, which the 999 operator will provide to the caller, whilst arranging for medical assistance.
Local GP and Councillor for Pensby, Barnston and Thingwall, Dr Ivan Camphor, said: “Defibs are life-saving equipment that can buy time for victims of cardiac arrest.
“Those first minutes are vital for survival and I hope the additional defibs being bought for schools and now being installed in many of our parks and open spaces will help to save more lives.
“Thank you to the staff at Wirral Council and the Oliver King Foundation for all they have done to make this happen, as well as charities such as the British Heart Foundation.”
Following the work of the Oliver King Foundation, schools in Wirral are being contacted by the Department for Education to finalise the number of devices that will need to be bought and installed, estimated to be more than 20,000. The government has committed to funding all necessary devices so that every school has at least one on-site, or more for schools with larger sites.
The rollout will build on existing requirements for schools to teach first aid as part of the curriculum, with secondary school pupils being taught life-saving methods such as CPR and the purpose of defibrillators. This rollout will help protect schools and local communities against cardiac arrest, delivering wider access to these devices.
To find your nearest defibrillator, go to: https://www.defibfinder.uk/