A COMMERCIAL vehicle distributor has installed a heart defibrillator for community use at its depot in Burton as part of an ambitious drive to save lives in the New Year.
Hartshorne Group is partnering with West Midlands Ambulance Service to promote awareness of portable defibrillators, which can restart the heart of somebody experiencing a cardiac arrest.
The company says its Healthy Heart Campaign is also kind to the planet by encouraging staff to walk or cycle to work in order to raise funds for further defibrillators.
Hartshorne Managing Director Ian Middleton said: "We know that a cardiac arrest can occur unexpectedly in any situation, so we're supporting the installation of defibrillators that can benefit the whole community. January is also a time when many people make a resolution to exercise more - and walking or cycling can make a great contribution to heart health whilst also reducing emissions."
Hartshorne, which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles, is paying to install defibrillators at its nine depots across the region including at its Burton site in Derby Street. Staff will then be raising funds for additional defibrillators at other locations. The devices will all be registered for public use in an emergency.
Andy Jeynes, Community Response Manager for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “I am proud to work with Hartshorne and support their initiative to place defibrillators in the community where they can make a difference. In the UK thousands of parents, grandparents and children lose their lives every year because less than half of members of the public intervene when they see someone collapse. If this happens in front of a bystander who starts CPR immediately, the patient’s chance of survival doubles. If an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is available then the chances of a patient surviving is increased immensely. "
Defibrillators come with voice instructions and can be used by anybody. Over 30,000 people a year in the UK suffer a cardiac arrest that takes place somewhere other than a hospital. Less than one in ten survive.
In addition to the devices at its own sites, Hartshorne is donating £1 towards further community-based defibrillators for every hour of physical exercise that its staff track via an app. Hartshorne customers can also raise funds by making a donation when they use the company's Healthy Heart demonstrator truck.
The defibrillators will be registered with The Circuit, a national database that is used to direct 999-callers to their locations in an emergency.
* Businesses and organisations that have defibrillators can register their device at www.thecircuit.uk