15 Minutes… Is Your Community Part of The Circuit?
How many of us know where our nearest defibrillator is?
There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, but fewer than one in 10 people survive – in part due to less than 10% of these incidents happening where ambulance services or first responders are unaware of where the nearest defibrillator is located. So while we all hope to never need to use one, knowing where they are placed in an emergency is vital.
On a mission to change this is The British Heart Foundation (BHF). The organisation is working hard to ensure everyone, across the UK, can easily access their nearest defibrillator with the launch of their centralised ‘find a defib’ portal – The Circuit.
Here you can easily enter your location to search for the 10 closest operational defibrillator locations near you. Directions are provided, as well as any need-to-know information.
Currently, each of the 14 ambulance services have their own database, but The Circuit brings all of this into just one central location.
To improve this life-saving resource, the BHF are calling for unregistered defibrillators to join the network. Registrations of both independent locations in places like community hubs and larger organisations responsible for vast locations are equally encouraged.
Tesco became the UK’s first supermarket to register its whopping 2,190 defibrillators (and counting) across the country. Their goal is for every UK store to have one, with each one registered on the database.
More locally, Devon Air Ambulance charity have installed defibrillators at their shops throughout Devon, and continue to work with town councils and local businesses to deliver installations where shop placement is not viable. This was the case in Sidmouth where a defibrillator was instead placed at the Masonic Lodge on the High Street thanks to support by Sidmouth Town Council and the backing of the Freemasons.
The same happened in Bovey Tracey, where the charity worked with Riverside Community Centre to install a new device due to their shop being close to an already covered location.
Bovey Tracey Town Councillor, Tony Allen, said: ”This project has helped the Town Council engage with several local businesses in the area about the need for AEDs. As it happens, the AED was called for only five days after its installation for a nearby emergency, but in the event was not required.”
New defibrillator locations are popping up all the time, and we’re already seeing registration becoming par for the course.
One of the latest registrations came from an installation at Exmouth Rowing Club, unveiled by Exmouth Mayor Olly Davey. Provided by Forever Tommy’s Trust in association with East Devon District Council, the new piece of life saving apparatus brings the total number of defibrillators in the town to over 20.
Defibrillator Guardians are also being recruited – members of the community who are responsible for maintain the defibrillator so it is always ready to use. If you’d like to find out more, visit www.bhf.org.uk
To find a defibrillator location near you, or to register your defibrillator to be easily found, visit the Defib Finder website at www.defibfinder.uk
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum