Lifesaving heart equipment at recycling centre in Shrewsbury

Wednesday 22nd May 2013 – 3.55pm – Chris Kowalik.

Veolia Environmental Services, the waste contractor for Shropshire Council has invested in an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to be available at the Household Recycling Centre in Battlefield, Shrewsbury.

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that could restart the heart of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

For every minute that passes without defibrillation, the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases by 10 percent. Research shows that applying a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chances of survival.

The machine has also been logged on the West Midlands Ambulance Service register so the information that a local AED is available in the location will be available to control room staff for any incidents in the vicinity of the Site.

All Veolia staff within the Household Recycling Centre (HRC) and the offices have been taught how to use the machine by trainers from the company and West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Speaking today, Donald Macphail, Regional Manager for Veolia in the Midlands said: “If someone has had a cardiac arrest, the first few minutes are vital. We hope that by investing in this piece of equipment, it may give someone a chance they may not otherwise have had. The HRC in Battlefield has over 250,000 visitors a year and is open from 9am – 5pm – seven days a week including bank holidays, and although there has never been a problem with someone becoming ill through a heart problem, it will be reassuring to know that this equipment is available.”

The idea of getting a defibrillator came from staff member Kay Kendall who works at the Veolia Head Office in Battlefield. In her spare time, Kay is a fully trained volunteer Community First Responder and also has a heart condition herself.

Speaking about the new piece of equipment Kay said: “As a volunteer first responder, I see many people with heart problems and sometimes unfortunately in cardiac arrest and know how valuable this piece of kit can be in saving lives.”

Noel Orbell, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Community Response Manager for the West Mercia area, said: “Anyone of any age can suffer a cardiac arrest anytime, anywhere. The more defibrillators we have out in the community and the more people we have trained in their use, the better. These machines are simple to use, they even talk you through it!”


Defibrillators are also to be installed at all other Veolia sites in Shropshire at a total investment of £7,000.

Whitchurch Household Recycling Centre
Craven Arms Household Recycling Centre and depot
Bridgnorth Household Recycling Centre and depot
Oswestry Household Recycling Centre and depot
Wem Transport depot
Shrewsbury Transport depot

Notes to editors:

In the UK approximately 30,000 people sustain a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. The single most important determinant of survival for a patient is the time from when the person collapses to the delivery of the first single shock from a defibrillator. Survival rates can be as high as 75% if defibrillation is delivered promptly. The chances of successful defibrillation decline by 10% with each minute of delay. Basic life support, through Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will help to maintain a shockable rhythm but is not a definitive treatment.

Defibrillation is the only way to stop a sudden cardiac arrest. When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the heart must be restarted by an electrical shock. Outside a hospital setting, the only way to restart the heart is by using an automated external defibrillator (AED). When an AED is used and electrodes are placed on the victim’s chest, electricity flows from the electrodes through the chest to the heart. When CPR and defibrillation are provided within 8 minutes of an episode, a person’s chance of survival increases by 20%.


Note to Editors:

Pictured left to right: Jon Callaghan, Veolia General Manager for the West Midlands Region, Kay Kendall, Noel Orbell.

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