National award success for borough’s defibrillator project

Date published: 07 November 2017

The Rochdale Borough defibrillator project has won national recognition for being ‘heart safe’ at this year’s UK Heart Safe Awards.

The project, a partnership scheme between Rochdale Borough Council and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), won the Council the ‘Public Sector Organisation of the Year Award’. 

Launched in November 2015, the project has seen 25 new defibrillators installed in highly-populated and easily-accessible community venues across the borough, with plans to increase this to 32 in the coming months. Almost 2,000 local people have been trained in CPR and defibrillation techniques, including 13 ‘train the trainers’ who can continue to share these skills within the community.

The project’s biggest success to date is helping to save the life of Allan Turner, 72, who suffered a cardiac arrest at Tunshill Golf Club. The CPR training and a new defibrillator provided by the project helped Geoff Severn, a retired financial advisor and Paul Gratton a printer, save the life of their friend.

Councillor Jacqueline Beswick the council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This proves that our hard work is having the desired effect.

"Our ultimate aim is to increase survival rates in our borough from 8.6% to 45% by ensuring more defibrillators are installed across the borough, giving people the confidence they need to help save someone’s life before ambulance services arrive.

"Long may this important work continue.”

The Heart Safe Awards are the UK’s leading national awards competition to celebrate organisations and employers who invest in creating Heart Safe environments as well as the acts of individuals who have saved lives while at work or leisure. 

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