Northampton's high street fitted with seven life-saving defibrillators that anyone can use in an emergency

"Defibrillators can save lives when used as part of a chain of events, but need to be close by to be able to give maximum benefit"

By Alastair Ulke
Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 3:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 3:28 pm
Seven defibrillators have been installed on Northampton's Abington Street and Market Square.

Northampton town centre's high street has been equipped with seven life-saving defibrillators that anyone can unlock in a crisis.

Earlier this year, Abington Street and Market Square were fitted with a series of electronic banner kiosks by advertising company J C Decaux.

Now, the seven stations have been fitted with emergency defibrillators that provide immediate first aid and potentially save the life of someone who is cardiac arrest before the ambulance arrives.

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The devices have been installed through a partnership by J C Decaux and national charity Community Heartbeat.

Community Heartbeat secretary Martin Fagan said: "We are delighted to be partnering with JCDecaux on this important project. Defibrillators can save lives when used as part of a chain of events, but need to be close by to be able to give maximum benefit."

The defibrillators in town centre can be unlocked by anyone in an emergency by calling 999, where the oeprator will tell them a code to retrieve it.

Martin said: "To save a life, call 999 first. You will be told to start chest compressions immediately. These are important as they keep the blood flowing around the body, and keeps the heart alive.

"Once a defibrillator arrives, switch it on and follow the instructions. Modern defibrillators like those being used in the Northampton project not only talk to you but also show you what to do on a small TV screen, so can be used by everyone, whether or not they have had any training, and whether they speak English, or have any hearing loss.

"You cannot do anything wrong. The defibrillator will not work unless it needs to."

After a cardiac arrest - which is caused when the electrical impulses in the heart fail - a patient will urgently need CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing to their vital organs, while a defibrillator is able to get their heart beating again.

Community Heartbeat is the UK’s leading national charity in the provision of community based defibrillators (cPAD) and have placed over 6000 so far.

Funding for the defibrillators has been provided by J C Decaux.