Local partnership provides emergency life saving units across Central Bedfordshire

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A ground breaking local partnership initiative has resulted in over 30 community public access defibrillators being purchased for local communities across Central Bedfordshire.

Thanks to support from a broad range of partners including health, Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) have teamed up with the national defibrillator charity, the Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT), to provide the life saving units.

A previous BFRS initiative has already seen 40 defibrillator units installed across the county.

In Central Bedfordshire, over 30 Town and Parish Councils
have signed up to the scheme and will receive one of the units, which are installed in secure boxes that can be accessed 24 hours a day.

Each community receiving a unit will also benefit from a comprehensive awareness training session, which will be partly funded by their Town or Parish Council. The session will not only explain how to use the defibrillator, but also dispel some of the myths about their use.

Every year, many people in Central Bedfordshire suffer from cardiac arrest, and some will sadly die because they could not be treated quickly enough.

Statistics show that whilst CPR can be effective, swift access to defibrillators is a significant factor in helping more people to survive a heart attack.

The defibrillators will be key-locked for security, with access given by Ambulance Service Control only on receipt of a 999 call. Ambulance crews will also be dispatched to the scene.

Peter Fraser, Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement for Central Bedfordshire Council said ‘We are very pleased to be working in partnership with BFRS and our Town and Parish Councils to help provide these lifesaving resources for our local communities.‘

Bedfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller said: ‘In the same way that you don’t need to be a fire fighter to use a fire extinguisher, you don’t need to be a paramedic to use a defibrillator. The important thing is that they help to save lives.’

‘We believe that more lives can be saved because of this joint project to install defibrillators in our local communities.’

Martin Fagan, National Secretary of  the CHT said ‘The project was won against commercial opposition and a rigorous tender process.’

‘Our strength is governance and making sure this type of project is done correctly and well, and we are delighted that Central Bedfordshire Council and BFRS have chosen to partner with us’.

Units include a Cardiac Science G5 defibrillator, and a High Visibility IP65 cabinet. As well as community awareness training, local communities will also benefit from governance programmes from CHT.

Want to find out more?

Applications for the scheme are now closed, but please contact the Editor if you’d like to find out more.