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Swansea becomes the UK’s first defib-friendly city with 650 installed

Credit: Swansea Council

If the worst happens and you need a defibrillator to help save a life, a network of 650 machines means one is never far away

Swansea’s become the UK’s first defib-friendly city and you can find your nearest one with this interactive map here.

The charity Heartbeat Trust UK partnered with Swansea Council with the aim of achieving the accolade and saving lives.

The council has contributed £175,000 over a three year period, and many other organisations and individuals have also supported this drive by purchasing defibrillators for their communities.

These include town and community councils, sports clubs, charities, grassroots organisations, ward members as well as families and individuals.

Representatives from many were invited to a celebration at the Patti Pavilion this week where Heartbeat Trust UK announced that thanks to all the hard work Swansea was now officially a Defib-friendly City.

Henry Gilbert, Chair of Heartbeat Trust UK, said:  “The charity has built upon the legacy of good work already invested in the county to achieve what we now have in Swansea.  It has very much been a community engagement initiative.  Apart from providing and installing defibrillators, the role of Heartbeat Trust has primarily been one of a catalyst, a coordinator of interventions and a champion of the cause.”

Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart said: “I’m very proud that the council has been able to work with Heartbeat Trust UK to become the first Defib-Friendly City in the UK.

“This will make a huge difference in saving the lives of people who have suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

“I’d also pay tribute to all the other partners and organisations for their work in helping to develop this network – Swansea has more publicly available defibrillators per head than anywhere else in the UK.

“I was also proud to hear that going forward Heartbeat Trust UK will use Swansea as an example of best practice so that other towns and cities can replicate what we have all achieved together here.”

More than 440 of the defibrillators are in unlocked cabinets in locations across Swansea that can be accessed 24 hours a day.

Well over 200 more are in community locations such as doctors and dentists surgeries, community and sports halls and are available during opening hours.

As well purchasing and installing defibrillators, a huge amount of effort has gone into training people how to use them with more than 1,000 people taking part in sessions run by St John Ambulance Cymru, with more to follow.