Life-saving defibrillators are to be installed at 40 locations across north Wales in a partnership between social enterprises, Menter Môn and Keep the Beats, part of the North Wales NHS charity, Awyr Las.
The scheme will supply and install the AEDs (automated external defibrillators) in coastal communities across north Wales as part of an initiative co-ordinated by Menter Môn’s FLAG project (Fisheries Local Action Group). Targeting more remote areas, the roll-out is one of the largest ever in the region and will ensure potentially life-saving care can be provided in emergencies.
Craig Hughes, is the FLAG project manager at Menter Môn. He said: “These devices can often mean the difference between life and death when a person suffers a cardiac arrest, so we were very keen to get involved and work with Keep the Beats to make this happen.”
All 40 sites have been chosen based on consultation with community groups including first responders, the RNLI, and coastguards. The clear message from the consultation was that there is a real need for additional lifesaving equipment at ports and in coastal communities across the region.
Tomos Hughes, North Wales Public Access Defibrillator Support Officer lead on the consultation work. He said: “When time is of the essence these devices can make all the difference. Every defibrillator has a designated guardian to look after it and it will also be registered on the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Circuit. This means it is visible to the Welsh Ambulance Service – so when someone dials 999 and needs a defibrillator, the service can direct them to it.”
The new AEDs will become part of this network of defibrillators across north Wales registered on the BHF Circuit.
Gillian Pleming, Service Manager, Emergency Medical Services Coordination for the Welsh Ambulance Service in Llanfairfechan, added: “Being able to quickly identify and direct callers to the nearest defibrillator can make the difference in survival rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. BHF’s Circuit is an invaluable resource for us and we welcome the addition of these 40 defibrillators in north Wales.”
The work to instal the devices begins in November and will be complete by the end of the year. The scheme is funded through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund managed through Welsh Government.