A remote Rhondda community has benefited from a lifesaving defibrillator that is accessible to the public day and night, every day of the year. The device – which is fixed in a secure cabinet on the outside wall was of the Maerdy and Ferndale Residents Board in Maes Y Rhedyn – was unveiled to community […]
Back row: Clive Setter (AED Locator website founder), PCSO Lee Clarke, Deputy Mayor John Watts. Front row: Kally John, Rhys Harris, Kallum Westcott and Ellie Matthews from Maerdy Community Primary School.
A remote Rhondda community has benefited from a lifesaving defibrillator that is accessible to the public day and night, every day of the year.
The device – which is fixed in a secure cabinet on the outside wall was of the Maerdy and Ferndale Residents Board in Maes Y Rhedyn – was unveiled to community members on Thursday, 19th September.
The public-access AED (automated external defibrillator) has been donated by Arrhythma Alliance as part of its Hearts & Goals campaign which was launched to tackle sudden cardiac arrest – the UK’s biggest killer.
To date the charity has helped place lifesaving defibrillators in communities up and down the country, and this unit in Maerdy is believed to be the first installation in South Wales that is always accessible to the public.
Local PCSO Lee Clarke turned to Arrhythma Alliance when he became concerned that residents were at an increased risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest because of their remote location.
“We are absolutely delighted Arrhythmia Alliance has agreed to donate an AED to the community.
“We know how important defibrillators are and we decided we wanted to do something to protect residents.
“We are based in a rural community and understandably it isn’t always possible for emergency services to get to more remote communities quickly.”
The PCSO’s next challenge was to raise the money to fund a secure cabinet which would help make the device accessible to anybody at any time, and local church group, Friends of the All Saints Church stepped in.
PCSO Clarke added:
“We didn’t have to look very far in the community for help. I’d like to thank those from Friends of the All Saints Church for their help, and also Maerdy Councillor Keiron Montague for his continued support.
“By having this lifesaving AED placed in the community and accessible to the public 24/7 we can protect nearby residents and the two schools which are in the area.”
The AED is kept in a bright green cabinet on the outside wall of the Maerdy and Ferndale Resident’s Board building which is in the heart of the community. At night it is illuminated by a green light.
AEDs do not require training and can be used by anyone to shock a person’s heart back into normal rhythm if they suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. They increase the chance of someone surviving from 5% to 50%.
The defibrillator is placed in a secured cabinet with a keypad. In the event of an emergency anyone who calls 999 will be given immediate access to the AED.
Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of Arrhythmia Alliance, said:
“We are delighted to work with PCSO Lee Clarke and his colleagues to help protect the community.
“To see people take the lead on this is great and it provides a superb example to communities across the UK.
“AEDs (automated external defibrillators) dramatically increase the chance of a person surviving in the event of them suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone at any time and is the UK’s biggest killer, causing 100,000 deaths every year.
“Every community should have public-access AEDs available 24/7 ready in cases of emergency and in remote communities like Maerdy.”