Funded by Telford & Wrekin Council, the seven new life-saving devices, known as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are located in external cabinets on council buildings around the borough and will be accessible, via a code provided by 999 operators, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The devices have been installed at Southwater Library, Telford Ice Rink and Darby House in Telford Town Centre, plus at Granville House in Donnington, Wellington Civic and Leisure Centre, Oakengates Leisure Centre and Newport Leisure Centre, replacing ones that were previously only accessible during opening hours.
Councillor Andy Burford, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, Integration and Transformation, said: “Defibrillators are a vitally important piece of equipment and access to them significantly increases the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. For every minute that CPR or a defibrillators is not used, the chances of survival fall by ten per cent.
“Current pressures on the NHS, leading to increased ambulance response times, means having this equipment available where it is needed most and where people can easily access it, is even more vital."
Councillor Kelly Middleton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Leisure, Public health and Wellbeing, Equalities and Partnerships, said: “Many of our leisure centres and public buildings in Telford and Wrekin already had defibrillators, but these were stored inside, which meant they were only accessible when the premises was open.
“This new equipment will be located on the outside of our buildings in special cabinets so will be easy to find and access in an emergency, and we’re also exploring the option of adding bleed kits to the cabinets in the future too.
“Anyone can use a defibrillator and you don’t need training. Once you turn it on, it will give clear instructions on how to attach the defibrillator pads. The device checks the heart rhythm and will only tell you to shock if it’s needed. You can't shock someone accidentally.”
The locations of the new defibrillators have been added to the national database so that the emergency services are aware of their locations and can provide the access codes when needed.
In addition to these new externally accessible defibrillators, other Telford & Wrekin Council sports and leisure centres have defibrillators that are accessible during opening hours, and they have also been installed by Town and Parish Councils and community partners in many other high street locations around the borough too.
The defibrillators previously installed internally in Telford & Wrekin Council’s buildings will be relocated to supported housing schemes around the borough, to provide additional coverage where it is needed most.