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Free defibrillator training events to increase awareness this #Defibruary

The Red Dragon Centre has partnered with Wales’ leading first aid charity, St John Cymru, to host a number of first aid demonstrations for the public during half term as part of the #Defibruary campaign.

Each year around 8,000 people in Wales experience a sudden cardiac arrest but if more people knew what to do in this type of emergency, more lives could be saved.

Throughout February, Wales’ leading first aid charity, St John Cymru, is urging people to become more aware of defibrillators, when one should be used and where to find one as part of their ‘defib-aware’ campaign.

Hosted at The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay between 20 and 22 February, St John Cymru will be at the Centre providing a range of demonstrations including how to use a defibrillator, how to perform CPR and general first aid techniques.

(Photo by Matthew Horwood)

A lifesaving defibrillator, also known as an automated external defibrillator (AED) is easy to use and can be placed on someone to give a shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest, but not everyone has the confidence to use one.

The device analyses a casualty’s heart rhythm and will give visual or voice instructions to guide you through each step to use one in an emergency.

Only when it is safe to do so will the device advise and administer a shock.

The new partnership and demonstrations coincide with #Defibruary, a nationwide campaign to encourage people to become more ‘defib-aware’ by either learning how to use a defibrillator or by locating their nearest one and sharing a picture on social media. St John Cymru joined the campaign in 2019 whichproved to be a huge success with over 1,500 individuals learning how to use the lifesaving device..

As part of their continuing commitment to customer wellbeing and safety, The Red Dragon Centre purchased a Heartstart HS1 defibrillator ahead of #Defibruary. The site, which houses a variety of restaurants, entertainment and leisure facilities, has trained members of their security team to administer the necessary treatment of the Semi-Automatic Defibrillator for the rare occasions it is required. The extra training strengthens the team’s existing first aid skills, reassuring customers wherever they are in the Centre that assistance and support is available.

Jon Phillips, Director of Training for St John Cymru, said:

“We’re delighted to have been invited by The Red Dragon Centre to celebrate the installation of their new defibrillator and help showcase to visitors just how important these devices are in a life-threatening situation.

“We’re hoping our presence at the centre will help to break down the stigma surrounding the devices and that during our time there we can help people become more confident to use one in an emergency.”

In addition to the public demonstrations at the Centre, St John Cymru will also be holding in-depth awareness sessions at Grosvenor Casino. Members of the public, over the age of 18, will be able to book onto these sessions and learn how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator as well as learning how to administer CPR.

Emma Constantinou, Marketing and Tenant Liaison Manager of the Red Dragon Centre, said: “We are excited to have St John Cymru hosting these demonstrations at the Centre for #Defibruary. The campaign is a great cause that helps educate the public in defib use as well as general first aid.

“We recently purchased and installed a Heartstart HS1 defib. We hope that this will enhance the experience of visiting the Centre and help our customers feel reassured.”

For more information or to book on to the public defib awareness session, please visit: https://training.stjohnwales.org.uk/course/CPRD