Heart Charity joins forces with Sussex Police to save lives

Heart Charity joins forces with Sussex Police to save lives


Thanks to The Sussex Heart Charity (SHC) Sussex Police are equipped with 12 new potentially lifesaving defibrillators.

A defibrillator saves lives by giving the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest. When someone has a cardiac arrest, early access to CPR defibrillation is essential to significantly increase the chance of survival. According to the British Heart Foundation, for every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%.

Terry Ayres, Chief Executive Officer for The Sussex Heart Charity said: “The police are very often first on scene at major and minor incidents, and we have no doubt that the availability of these machines will save lives”

“The Sussex Heart Charity is an independent charity that support care of cardiac patients throughout Sussex. Since 1987 one of the main objectives of the charity has been to teach as many member of public as possible how to perform basic life support.  The reason for this was to help improve the survival rate of those suffering from a cardiac arrest (this is when the heart stops beating) – the use of an automated external defibrillators (AED) is crucial to increase the chances of survival.

“The Sussex Heart Charity has been instrumental in placing over 50 AEDs in various locations throughout the county. We were only too pleased to fund six of the 12 AEDs recently purchased by Sussex Police.”

There are around 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year.  Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest and fighting for their life is crucially important.

The device purchased is called the iPAD SP1 AED, standing for Intelligent Public Access Defibrillator.   The iPAD SP1 is a nominated device of the British Heart Foundation.  It is also widely used and placed nationwide by the NHS Ambulance Service.  It is designed  to be used by minimally trained people, using a series of voice prompts and illuminated illustrations to guide a rescuer through what to do step by step until medical help arrives.

Chief Inspector Simon Beardwell, Mid Sussex District Commander said: “Sussex Police are proud to be part of this collaborative initiative as we are constantly looking at ways to improve our service. The 12 defibrillators have been distributed to our response hubs across West Sussex and are an important part of our equipment. Police are often first to arrive on the scene of an accident or incident. Having defibrillators could potentially mean the difference between life and death the estimated survival chances for cardiac arrest victims reduce by ten per cent for every minute without CPR and defibrillation.”

Pictured (left to right): Andy Forsyth (SHC chairman), Terry Ayres (SHC CEO) , Simon Beardswell, Ian Pearse (Wel Medical) and Ruth Forsyth (SHC trustee)