Anyone who has been on a defibrillator training course knows how important these devices are at saving lives, which is why the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has re-launched its Shoctober campaign to help find missing defibrillators around the region.
The organisation is asking people to take a selfie with a machine and tweet them with the hashtag #FindTheDefib, so the service knows the locations of all public defibrillators.
There are thought to be thousands of devices around the area that are not registered with the NWAS. However, the trust should know where they are so Emergency Medical Dispatchers can tell 999 callers where they are if someone nearby needs one.
Community engagement manager for the NWAS Andrew Redgrave said: “Many people raise funds in their local area to have these installed but what they often do is forget to tell us they’ve done so. This means that we could get a call for a suspected cardiac arrest where this vital piece of kit is available and we can’t tell the caller to go and get it.”
NWAS first launched the Shoctober campaign last year with much success, receiving nearly 6,000 tweets during the month of October with the hashtag. As a result of this, 290 defibrillators were located that were otherwise not known to the service.
Members of the public are being asked to get behind the initiative, so if they see a device marked with a white heart on a green background, they should put a selfie with it on Twitter using the hashtag or tweet @NWambulance.
These machines are often found behind bars, in gyms, corridors, offices, tourist attractions, leisure centres, colleges, restaurants, schools and coffee shops, so these are all good places to start looking.
As heart disease is still Britain’s biggest killer and accounts for a quarter of all deaths in the UK, many people are at risk of suffering a cardiac arrest every day. Knowing where defibrillators are located so the NWAS can direct people to use them could save lives.
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