First aiders in the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury have taken delivery of a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine, a piece of equipment that could help to save lives in public places.
The AED machine has been designed so that it can technically be used by anyone, but those who have undergone first aid training and specifically, AED training courses, are best placed to use it. The device administers electronic shocks in order to restart of the heart in people suffering from cardiac arrest. It is estimated that for every minute that passes without the use of an AED, a person’s chances of survival drop by around 10 per cent.
The new AED machine will now be put to use by St John Ambulance at public events, where it usually has volunteers providing first aid services to the general public. It was bought by the legacy of local first aider Alan Painter, who died last year and wanted donations instead of flowers at his funeral.
Commenting on the delivery of the AED, St John Ambulance’s Chris Reynolds said:
“The survival rate for cardiac arrest patients increases by more than 50 per cent if an AED is used within the first four minutes so having a defibrillator to use can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved when we are out and about in the community.
“It was very fitting that the AED has been bought in Alan’s memory as he was so committed to St John Ambulance and our first aid work when he was alive.”