A campaign is on to hunt down life-saving defibrillators across South Yorkshire, and ‘selfies’ can be of great help during the search.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust asks people to take selfies with the life-saving kit, and send them to YAS on social media using the hashtag #YASDefibHunt, with details of the device’s exact location.
The problem is that some defibrillators are bought with the best of intentions but are not registered with YAS.
It is essential that the Trust knows the locations of all defibrillators so that staff in the Emergency Operations Centre can direct 999 calls to them, should a patient suffer a cardiac arrest nearby.
Paul Stevens, Head of Community Resilience for YAS, said there are now 3,095 known defibrillators across Yorkshire - an increase of 29 per cent from this time last year - but there are many more which have not been registered on the YAS database.
“We need to make sure that every single defibrillator purchased across the county is registered with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, so we can ensure they are put to good use in the event of a cardiac arrest,” said Paul.
“We ran the YAS Defib Hunt for the first time last year and as well as finding 41 previously unregistered defibrillators, the campaign helped to raise the profile of the importance of th life-saving devices.
"We would urge members of the public to support our YAS Defib Hunt again which will ultimately help us to save more lives.”
The location of defibrillators, often in yellow or green cabinets, can sometimes be marked with a white heart on a green background, or they could just be mounted on a wall behind a bar, in gyms, leisure centres, offices, schools, railway stations, restaurants - anywhere at all!
Defibrillators are easy to use, easy to carry, provide audible instructions to the user and will not deliver a shock unless it is required. No training is needed to use the equipment.
The campaign marks Shoctober - a national initiative to raise awareness about the importance of defibrillators - and ties in with the Trust’s plans to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to more than 25,000 secondary schoolchildren on Restart a Heart Day on October 16.
A cardiac arrest occurs when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and to their brain. The earlier a patient can receive CPR and a shock from a defibrillator, the greater their chance of survival.
If you see a defibrillator, take a selfie with it and send it to YAS with details of the exact location (building number/name, street, town/city) and the hashtag #YASDefibHunt via:
Twitter - @YorksAmbulance
Facebook - @yorkshireambulanceservice
Instagram - @YorksAmbulance
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t worry if you don’t want to send a photo, it’s fine to just send location details.
If you are considering buying a defibrillator for your community, please email email@example.com or call 07464 493852.