Public Hearts Defibrillator Campaign
News – Launching Great Western Public Hearts
As a first aid training and education provider, teaching learners about how to respond to a cardiac arrest is an essential part of all first aid training course content. This includes the safe use of an AED – an Automated External Defibrillator, referred to as a defibrillator or defib for short.
Tidal Training Direct Ltd. started to run an open course to support staff from businesses in and around Cheltenham and Gloucestershire in May 2017. Naturally one of the questions our learners asked during training about the safe use of an AED is “where is my nearest defibrillator?
This marked the start of the Cheltenham Defibrillator Campaign, now known as Public Hearts Cheltenham. Co-Founders Clare Seed, Director of Tidal Training Direct Ltd and cardiac arrest survivor Chris Hickey began to raise awareness and numbers of lifesaving defibrillators in Cheltenham, to ensure that the Emergency Services know about their locations to be able to direct callers to the nearest defib in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Upon research at this time, there were (and still are) very few defibs registered on information sites such as AED Locator. Two Public Access Defibrillators in the Montpellier area of Cheltenham were clearly housed in phone boxes, yet were not listed on these sources of information. Most notably, there were no public access defibs in Cheltenham town centre at all.
Since then, we were delighted to facilitate Cheltenham town centre’s first Public Access Defibrillator in one of the phone boxes by RBS, The Promenade.
This was generously funded by Cheltenham BID and has been used to save lives.
Pre Covid, we placed a defib in Moon Under Water at the bottom of Bath Rd, co-founded one for the United Services Club and more recently, part funded one for Holy Trinity School to support a child with a congenital heart condition.
Our goal is to facilitate a series of public access defibrillators along Cheltenham High Street (ideally every 200 metres) to benefit the local and visiting community (which can add up to some 250,000 during race week) And we’re making great progress thanks to the generosity of the business community.
In early August 2021, Bob Holt OBE and Mike Turl each generously donated a defibrillator with a view to having them placed in the community to support this essential campaign. These are now located at 340 High St CCP and The Brewery Quarter by The Cosy Club – marking Cheltenham High St’s first 2 Public Access Defibrillators.
David Jones, MD of Evans Jones as planning professionals kindly stepped up on a pro-bono basis to support our engagement with the local business community in identifying potential locations for 11 defibrillators and cabinets donated by Spirax Sarco.
In terms of supporting efficient defibrillator location and access, we have added all our defibs to The Circuit – The National Defibrillator Network. Historically, each of the 14 ambulance services across the UK have their own defibrillator database for their area. The Circuit brings this information together into one database.
When a defibrillator is registered on The Circuit, their location and status is instantly synchronised with the emergency services’ systems ensuring that their information is always up to date and ready to help save lives.
If you have a defibrillator, you can register it here with The Circuit so 999 ambulance services can direct callers to the nearest unit in the event of a cardiac arrest.
This is vital when moments matter in the chain of survival.
In May 2022, the team at Tidal are delighted to announce the launch of Great Western Public Hearts, a partnership of Public Hearts and GWAAC – our Great Western Air Ambulance Charity. Founder Director of Tidal Training Direct Ltd and Public Hearts Cheltenham Defibrillator Campaign Clare Seed shares Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has been with us since we set up this campaign in late 2018.
What a privilege it is to see it now, thanks to incredible generosity, teamwork and collaboration. Public Hearts Cheltenham has facilitated 20 defibrillators in Cheltenham town centre (and 1 for Glos City Mission) with the support of founding and key partners, Cheltenham BID as well as Circle2Success members Bob Holt OBE, Spirax Sarco, Evans Jones, Tidal Training Ltd and Chun Kong who has generously donated the external cabinet housed at iX on High St, a collaboration with Marketing Cheltenham. The next location is Cheltenham Open Door, to add a public access defibrillator to their suite of community services.