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New defibrillator installed at heart-friendly city park

Published on Monday, July 3, 2017

A NEW defibrillator is being installed at Abbey Park as part of the city council’s commitment to create heart-friendly parks.

The defibrillator, at Abbey Park Visitor Centre, will join 2 others in Abbey Park and 28 in total installed across other parks in Leicester and achieves the end of phase one of an installation programme. Further units will be installed during the next year.

It’s part of a £65,000 project, funded by the city council through a manifesto commitment, to ensure that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are available in parks and green spaces across the city. Additional funding has also been received from the British Heart Foundation for an additional 5 units.

In many locations, the AEDs are located in a secure box on an exterior wall or other accessible location, so that they are available for community use whenever they are needed.

The city council is working in partnership with local charities The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and Heartwize to provide free hands-on CPR training and AED familliarisation for staff, ‘friends of’ park groups, volunteers and members of the community.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who leads on health and wellbeing, said: “Providing more defibrillators in council-owned public spaces was a manifesto commitment of ours, because we recognise that having easy access to this equipment can mean the difference between life and death.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to install so many of these units across the city so far, and we’re continuing with a programme of installation to help make our parks and green spaces safer.”

Assistant city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, who has responsibility for parks, added: “We’re very lucky in Leicester to have so many well-used and valued parks and open spaces.

“We have a responsibility to do all we can to help people enjoy these areas safely, which is why fitting these defibrillators makes sense. If they save just one life, they’ll be well worth it.”

Dr Ffion Davies, medical lead for the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and consultant in emergency medicine at Leicester’s hospitals, said:

“It’s fantastic news to see another defibrillator going into a public place. Research shows that with the combination of immediate CPR and defibrillation within eight minutes of a person’s heart stopping, their survival chances improve from 5% to 50%.

“In other countries, where defibrillators are as common as fire extinguishers, we see much better survival rates than in the UK. If anyone wants to learn CPR quickly, you can learn it from videos on the internet, and it only takes a minute to learn.”