Information from ‘HeartSafe’
ALWAYS telephone 999 without any delay in an emergency life threatening situation and ask for the Ambulance Service to report the incident. The Control Centre that receives your call will assess the situation and if deemed necessary, will advise you the whereabouts of the nearest defibrillator if within reach of you and the incident. It may help if you have the postcode (i.e from a satnav) and also if there is another person to go and fetch the device.
A quick response is vital. Saving seconds can save a life!
- Wherever you live, wherever you work, simply knowing the location and postcode of your nearest Public Access Defibrillator may save valuable seconds when ringing the Emergency Services to report a suspected cardiac arrest.
- When you dial 999 the Ambulance Call Handler will ask a series of questions and should your patient require it, they will identify the nearest available defibrillator to you, and give you access details.
- This information will be freely given if you are within 200 metres of a defibrillator that the South Western Ambulance Service is aware of, and if there is another person available to go and fetch the device. Other Ambulance Trusts in the UK may vary in distance between location of incident and PAD location.
- The most important element in a cardiac arrest is to ensure effective chest compressions are carried out.
- If you are outside of this 200 metre distance and know the whereabouts of an available defibrillator, you can choose to send someone to fetch it. You should ensure you know the access to your nearest defibrillator as some are locked and require a code or remote unlocking.
- If you go to a cabinet and find it is locked, providing the Ambulance Service has this cabinet listed they will be able to provide the information you require to gain access.
- You will need to call 999 and give the postcode of the cabinet location. All defibrillators listed with the South Western Ambulance Service have been allocated a unique call sign which should be written on the cabinet and should also be given to the Ambulance Service Call Handler if written on the cabinet.
- There is no legal responsibility for defibrillator owners to have their device listed with the Ambulance Service. We recommend you store the postcode of the nearest Public Access Defibrillator cabinet on your phone, wallet and by your telephone at home/work and ensure that you know the access details.
- Saving seconds can save lives. Please record this simple postcode information, it may help in an emergency.