Do you know how to use a defibrillator?

St John Ambulance Cymru has renamed February as Defibruary to continue improving the health and well-being of communities in Wales by increasing defibrillator awareness.

Darren Murray, Head of Community Operations, said: “Statistics show that 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen at home, and you are more likely to have to carry out CPR on a family member than on a stranger. Defibruary is the perfect opportunity to learn skills that could mean the difference between life and death for someone you love.”

First aid training

According to the Resuscitation Council UK, for every minute that someone is in cardiac arrest without receiving CPR and having a defibrillator used on them, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.

Last year, St John Ambulance Cymru’s Defibruary campaign helped 1,167 people learn how to use a defibrillator, and this year, St John Ambulance Cymru aims to build on that success to ensure that even more people know how to use this lifesaving equipment.

St John Ambulance Cymru is offering a free Public Access Defib Awareness Course in English or Welsh. Upon successful completion, all participants will receive a certificate.

As well as their face-to-face one-day Automated External Defibrillator Training (AED) course, St John Ambulance Cymru also offers a range of training courses, including fire marshalling, health and safety, mental health, and a three-day first aid at work qualification.

You can find out more about their courses and book a place here.

Billy explains why defibrillators are so important…

Billy, an St John Ambulance Cymru volunteer for the last 15 years, suffered a cardiac arrest at the St John Ambulance Cymru Swansea help point. With the help of paramedics and nurses, he was brought back to life with a defibrillator.

Defibrillation is absolutely vital; it is the only way to save or attempt to save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest. My belief is that all public places need to have a defibrillator handy, and everybody should be trained in the use of a defibrillator because they are a vital piece of equipment.

Billy, St John Ambulance Cymru volunteer 

Defib Aware

There are an estimated 100,000 public access defibrillators across the UK; however, tens of thousands of these are unknown to ambulance and emergency services. Once located and registered, emergency services can direct bystanders to their nearest defibrillator and increase a person’s chance of survival.

St John Ambulance Cymru encourages people across Wales to make sure they know where they can find their nearest defibrillator.

The Circuit, which is a partnership between St John Ambulance (both in England and Wales), the British Heart Foundation, and the Resuscitation Council UK, provides a nationwide overview of where defibrillators can be found. Many defibrillators never get used because people are unaware of where they are located or how to access them. This cost lives.

To locate the ten defibrillators closest to you, enter your postcode here.