22 January 2016 - Life Saving Machines Installed in New Brighton Life-saving defibrillators have been installed in New Brighton thanks to the combined efforts of Darren Widdowson, a Police Community Support and Traffic Officer with Merseyside Police and local community partners. Darren has worked in the New Brighton Ward in Wallasey, Wirral for over five years and in that time had been made aware of several incidents of people having suffering a sudden cardiac arrest whilst out and about. After one particular incident he decided that a public accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was needed in the town to help the local community and those visiting the New Brighton area. A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, young or old, at any time and the use of a defibrillator within the first few minutes, while professional help is on the way, can improve the chances of survival by up to 70 per cent. For every minute that passes without intervention the chances of survival decreases by up to 14 per cent. Darren Widdowson and Rob Hussey Darren said: “With the recent increase in visitors, I looked into the idea of funding a defibrillator from a variety of sources and after making a few enquiries I got in touch with Rob Hussey from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), who pointed me in the right direction as they had already provided AEDs to the New Brighton’s beach lifeguard and the Floral Pavillion Theatre. “Rob and I then met with Tony Jones from RNLI Lifeboats and also Jim Hynd and Tony Costello from Marine Point in New Brighton, who both kindly offered to install an AED. From there we discussed getting a further device installed at the New Brighton Community Centre.” The New Brighton Community Centre applied for the ‘Your Wirral’ 2015 funding, available from Wirral Council and Magenta Living, and they successfully received £2360; awarded to the initiative by the Council’s Wallasey Constituency Committee. This has helped towards purchasing the defibrillator cabinets and both RNLI and Marine Point have helped to fund the installation costs. Rob Hussey, NWAS Community Resuscitation Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside said: “The speed of access to a defibrillator is vital when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest and getting the right care immediately can come down to a matter of seconds whether someone lives or dies. “That is why we are delighted to support this important initiative by providing and maintaining the AEDs which will be placed outside the Lifeboat station, the Travelodge at Marine Point, the Community Centre and at the Derby Pool restaurant in Wallasey. NWAS will also provide training in how to use a defibrillator for local businesses and those within the New Brighton community cost free. However, these machines are truly little life-savers and absolutely anyone can use them as they talk you through the process and no clinical training is required.” NWAS recently highlighted the importance of AEDs being installed around the community with their successful ‘Shoctober’ campaign in which they asked the public to take a selfie with a defibrillator and tweet its location using #FindTheDefib. The campaign helped to identify 290 pieces of the life-saving equipment across the region which have been added to the Trust’s database and will help ensure that 999 callers are directed to the nearest one.