MID and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) is working in partnership with Save a Life Cymru (SALC) and Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) to increase the number of lifesaving public access defibrillators.

SALC was established in 2019 by Welsh Government and is working to ensure everyone’s chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest is the same across Wales, to increase the number of people willing to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and to increase the public’s understanding of defibrillators and what to do if a cardiac arrest occurs.

A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any age, and every year in Wales, over 6,000 people suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

The chance of surviving one will fall by 10 per cent with every passing minute if someone doesn’t attempt CPR or using a defibrillator, currently only around 30 to 40 per cent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community will receive bystander CPR.

By working in partnership, MAWWFRS and SALC have identified 22 Fire Stations that do not have a public access defibrillator (PAD) within 500 metres and are working to correct this.

The launch, which was attended by MAWWFRS operational and support staff, saw Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas welcome SALC Chair, Professor Len Nokes, SALC Community Co-ordinator Marc Gower and Nick Ozzati from WAST.

CFO Thomas said: “MAWWFRS Fire Stations are strategically located throughout the communities we serve to maximise fire cover and protection to the public.

“Having 24-hour access to PADs at these selected Fire Stations will greatly improve patient outcomes in the event of a cardiac arrest.”