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23 January 2023
There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year and, without immediate treatment, 90 to 95 per cent of sudden cardiac arrest victims will die. Survival increases by 67 percent with immediate access to a life-saving defibrillator. There are not enough defibrillators in Wales or trained people to give victims the best chance of survival during those first few critical minutes.
As a result, The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund and Calon Hearts embarked on a ground breaking initiative at the beginning of 2022 by installing 78 public access defibrillators in the upper reaches of the Neath, Afan, Cynon and Rhondda Valleys in the fund area of benefit.
London Hearts are beyond honoured that we can help supply such important and lifesaving equipment to support Calon Hearts and PYC to spread awareness of public access defibrillators and cardiac arrest in Wales.
“The fund has awarded funds for several defibrillators with community groups and buildings in first few years but recognising that we could be more proactive we approached Calon Heart Screening and Defibrillators Wales and working with them we have funded the installation of 78 public access defibrillators across the fund area. All of the defibrillators are accessible to the public and will be registered on the Circuit” – Kate Breeze, Executive Director at PyC Wind Farm Community Fund
Calon Hearts and local community group RCT Heart Heroes contacted communities, local cllrs and other community members and mapped what currently is in situ in these areas and the need, identifying 78 locations across all towns and villages that it would be most beneficial to install a defibrillator including community buildings, private businesses and a variety of locations.
Kimberley at Calon Hearts added – “We are delighted to have partnered up with PYC Wind Farm on this amazing life-saving initiative placing 78 public access defibrillators in strategic locations as well as teaching these communities lifesaving skills and registering these devices on the Circuit – The national defibrillator database. While in early discussions with PYC it became apparent that this project was much needed given the gaps and the lack of public access defibrillators in certain areas.”
Accessibility to a defibrillator is key to saving a life. Each minute that is wasted reduces the chances of saving that life by 10%. Calon Hearts Screening and Defibrillators Wales aims to improve accessibility and availability of lifesaving defibrillators in Wales, which in turn will help improve number of out of hospital cardiac arrest deaths.
“Calon Hearts have arranged installation using local electricians. They also offered free defibrillator training sessions across the towns and villages to ensure community is aware of and confident enough to use if an emergency situation were to happen. Accessibility to a defibrillator is key to saving a life and as a fund we are pleased to have been able to work in partnership to ensure there are accessible defibrillators in all the fund area villages and towns.” - Kate Breeze
The advanced and dual functioning Mindray Beneheart C1A defibrillator model. Not only does this model carry out daily self-diagnostic tests, meaning maintenance is extremely limited but more importantly this model can be applied to both an adult and a child at the flick of a switch rather than having to waste time changing the pads
I cannot thank PyC and Kate Breeze in particular for their commitment and hard work in this ground breaking project. I hope these 78 public access defibrillators will never be needed but it is reassuring for these communities that if the worst was ever to happen these devices will be on hand to save a person’s life.”
I would also like to put on record our thanks to David Healy and Steve Davies from @RCT Heart Heroes. This project would not have been possible without their dedication and hard work and unlimited hours from finding suitable locations to providing community sessions. We would also like to put on record our thanks Livvingale Electricians and ALG Electricians.
The independent Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC is responsible for managing the £1.8 million a year Fund set up by energy company Vattenfall, the operator of the wind farm.
London Hearts is the leading defibrillator charity in the UK, supplying to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We ensure that communities obtain the correct defibrillator equipment and also ensure storage cabinets meet the correct requirements, conforming to health and safety and electrical safety requirements.
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