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Centre of hearts: Life-saving equipment installed at Newbold Children’s Centre

11 July 2017

Councillor Kieran Heakin (assistant to the cabinet member for children’s services), Saqub Hussain (youth worker), Alison Smith (children’s centre manager), Lisa Kimpton (public health programme officer).

A local children's centre has put residents' lives at the centre of its heart and become cardiac smart thanks to life-saving project.

Newbold Children's Centre has installed a brand new defibrillator on site and trained their staff what to do if someone suffers a cardiac arrest, in a bid to decrease the number of early deaths in the borough.

Ambulance service operators will be able to direct callers to the defibrillator at the centre on Moss Street, Rochdale, if someone suffers a cardiac arrest during opening hours. The defibrillator can then be used on a person, before an ambulance or medical help arrives; tripling a victim's chances of survival.

'It's reassuring to know that the equipment will increase the chance of saving lives.'

The centre installed the defibrillator as part of the life-saving 'Roch Defibs' project, run by Rochdale Borough Council's public health team and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

The project, which launched in November 2015, has already trained over 1,600 people in CPR, including 24 trainers. It has also placed 32 defibrillators in highly-populated and easily accessible community venues.

The defibrillator was jointly funded by the centre, the council's early help team and the youth service after 2 of the centre's workers attended one of the projects 'train the trainer' sessions. The session not only taught them how to perform bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation on someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest but also gave them the skills to teach people in the community what to do as well.

'We want to increase the chances of survival in our borough to 45%'

Alison Smith the children's centre manager, said: "We are delighted to have this valuable resource in our centre for the community of Newbold to use during our opening hours if an emergency situation should occur. We hope we will never have to use it however it is reassuring to know that if required the equipment will increase the chance of saving lives."

The council hopes to train more volunteers in basic life-saving skills so they can share them with as many people as possible.

'#RochDefibs project is giving our residents a fighting chance'

Councillor Kieran Heakin, assistant to the cabinet member for children's services, said: "Currently, if a person suffers a cardiac arrest out of hospital their chance of surviving is only 8.6%. We want to increase the chances of survival in our borough to 45%, similar to the rates seen in Denmark, so it is vital that we give as many people as possible the skills and confidence they need to perform bystander CPR and defibrillation before medical help arrives. This can triple a person's chances of surviving.

"I am very proud of the vital work the #RochDefibs project is doing to give our residents a fighting chance should they suffer a cardiac arrest. We've already saved one life so long may it continue."

For more information about the #RochDefibs project, CPR, defibrillators and where they are located visit Defibrillators in the Rochdale borough.