Ashfield District Council installs life-saving defibrillators 

Life-saving tech available in parks and green spaces across the Nottinghamshire district 

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), 25% of all deaths in the UK are the result of diseases of the heart and circulation. That amounts to some 168,000 deaths per year – more than the population of Oxford – and some 48,000 of these deaths are premature. The annual cost in healthcare for such diseases is estimated at £9bn, with a wider cost to the UK economy of £19bn. 

Cllr Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council, with the new defibrillator installed at Kings Mill Reservoir

Cllr Jason Zadrozny with the new defibrillator installed at Kings Mill Reservoir, courtesy of Ashfield District Council

Of course, there are things we can do to lower the risk of heart and circulatory diseases – a healthier diet, more exercise and cutting down on smoking and alcohol. But tech can also play a part. 

Defibrillators are devices used when someone suffers a cardiac arrest (that is, their heart suddenly stops beating). They work by providing a high-energy pulse or shock to help restore a normal heartbeat – and they are extremely effective. Survival rates are as high as 90% where a defibrillator within the first minute of a cardiac arrest, and 74% when used within three to five minutes. Having a defibrillator nearby is key to saving lives. 

Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire already has a number of defibrillators installed for public use, such as outside the council offices in both Kirkby and Hucknall. They’ve now installed further devices at Kings Mill Reservoir in Sutton and at Nabbs Lane changing rooms in Hucknall. In the next few weeks, furth such devices will be installed at Mayfield Street changing rooms and at Titchfield Park in Kirkby, and at Cowpasture Lane and at Woodlands Medical Practice in Sutton.  

Each defibrillator is stored in a locked box that can only be opened with a key code. You can get the code by dialling 999 and asking for the ambulance service – so that emergency first aid can start while an ambulance is on its way. The units are fully automatic and guide the user through the process.  

Cllr Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council, says: ‘Research from The Circuit [the BHF’s overview of where defibrillators are located] shows that on average a defibrillator is 726m away from the centre of any given postcode. We are proud to help reduce this terrifying figure in Ashfield. These life saving devices really do make all the difference to cardiac arrest survival rates.   

‘We are committed to making our town centres, parks and open spaces safer for everyone and this includes improving access to defibrillators. We hope they don’t have to be used but it’s reassuring knowing that if they are needed, they are available for everyone.’ 

 The BHF website also provides guidance on how to do life-saving CPR and to use a defibrillator in an emergency. 

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