Henry Smith MP has welcomed the extension of the Southern and Thameslink automated external defibrillator (AED) programme with the installation of two new defibrillators at Three Bridges Station.
The Crawley MP joined the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) at the station on Thursday (14th October) to learn more about the new AEDs.
“Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern’s rail services keep the heart of our communities beating so it seems fitting to have publicly-available life-saving defibrillators at stations that can restart the heart of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.
“These AEDs are not only fully automatic but very easy to use. They’re publicly accessible to help save lives within the entire community.”
The installation at Three Bridges Station accompanies the life-saving defibrillator at Ifield Station with a further defibrillator to be installed at Crawley Station by the end of this month.
This is part of a wider £15 million station improvement plan which involves over 1,000 projects, many suggested by local passenger and community groups.
Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospitals every year in the UK, and early chest compressions and defibrillators can double the chance of survival.
A station assistant at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire has already used the station's AED in saving a passenger's life.
The installed AEDs are ‘smart’, offering verbal instructions and shocking a patient only if they need it. They also use remote monitoring to sound the alert on dying batteries or out-of-date chest pads and all the cabinets are being wired in – to keep them warm and ready to go.
The installation came ahead of Restart a Heart Day (16th October) which aims to teach essential skills in CPR and defibrillation, and help raise awareness about cardiac arrest.