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.
Since then, we are delighted to support 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.
We have also placed a defib in Moon Under Water at the bottom of Bath Rd, co-founded one for the United Services Club and 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)
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.
David Jones, MD of Evans Jones as planning professionals are kindly working on a pro-bono basis to engage with the local business community and identify potential locations for Public Access Defibrillators.
We have now identified and located over 50 defibrillators in and around Cheltenham, and prior to Covid, we shared this information with South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT). SWASFT have passed this information to The Circuit – The National Defibrillator Network
Currently, 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.
We’re delighted The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Campaign
Read more here
If you are a town centre business in a high foot traffic location and would like to house a Public Access Defibrillator on the outside of your building, we are about to receive defibrillators generously donated by Spirax Sarco looking for a home.
Please get in touch on 01242 371 999 to find out more.