Map out community defibrillator machines

Mark Evans shows his ambulance to children at St Michael and John's RC Primary School as part of a coffee morning event to raise funds for the school's community defibrillator appeal. (s)
Mark Evans shows his ambulance to children at St Michael and John's RC Primary School as part of a coffee morning event to raise funds for the school's community defibrillator appeal. (s)
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A CO-ORDINATED initiative to map out where lifesaving defibrillators are located in the Ribble Valley is being led by the North West Ambulance Service.

Mark Evans, community resuscitation manager and British Heart Foundation health care practitioner for the NWAS NHS Trust Cumbria and Lancashire area, needs people to tell him where all community AEDs are.

In the UK about 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside the hospital environment every year. Unfortunately, a patient’s chance of survival decreases by around 10% per minute following a sudden cardiac arrest. If defibrillation is delivered promptly by an AED machine, survival rates can be as high as 75%.

The current known locations of defibrillators in Clitheroe or establishments soon to have one include Maxwell’s Cafe Bar, King Street, and Honeywell Estate Agents, Castlegate. These have been provided by the Rotary Club of Clitheroe. Clitheroe Town Council also has plans to place a machine in the disused telephone box in Market Place.

In other areas of the town, there are five defibrillators: down Edisford Road at the Edisford Bridge pub, Thistle Manor, Roefield Leisure Centre and Ribblesdale Swimming Pool. There is also one at Beech Grove Care Home, Low Moor.

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School main school and sixth form centre both have them, as does Carter Leisure gym on Chatburn Road. St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School, Lowergate, have one on a temporary basis and there is an ongoing initiative to get a permanent one for the school plus ones in the parish centre and the church.

There is also one at CrossFit gym, Primrose Road, and out of town at the Calf’s Head, Worston, Northcote, Langho, Mytton Fold Hotel and Golf Complex, Langho, Whalley Golf Club and Wilpshire Golf Club, The Inn at Whitewell, the Parkers Arms, Newton, the Hark to Bounty, Slaidburn, St Mary’s RC Primary School, Sabden, Chipping Village Hall and Riverside Nursing Home, Sawley.

“These are the defibrillators that we know about already,” explained Mark (36), of Clitheroe. “But I’m sure there are more out there that we need to know about.”

Mark’s aim is to work with the local authorities and groups like Clitheroe Rotary to create a map showing the whereabouts of all the local defibrillators and also to get signposts erected letting people know where they are.

“Every AED installed by NWAS is registered on the 999 call centre computer system. Therefore in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest happening within the vicinity of an AED site, we can inform the caller of the AED’s availability and exact location. To the patient, this information could simply mean the difference of life or death,” explained Mark.

“If you have purchased and installed an AED, then we want to hear from you. This is not only vital to your community, but also helps NWAS identify where AEDs are needed to be placed in the future.

“In an ideal world we’d love for everyone in the Ribble Valley to know where their nearest defibrillator is.”

To let Mark know the location of a defibrillator email: mark.evans@nwas.nhs.uk