Shocking new installation at shopping centre



Monday 16th June 2014 – 3.30pm – Suzie Fothergill.

Cannock shoppers could get the shock of their lives should they ever suffer a cardiac arrest whilst at the centre.

On Monday 9th June three members of Cannock Shopping Centre staff were trained in the use of defibrillators and first aid to ensure that if any shoppers become seriously ill whilst at the centre, they are given the best possible chance of survival.

A defibrillator is a device that can be used to restart someone’s heart when they’ve suffered a cardiac arrest. These machines are extremely easy to use, meaning people of all ages and walks of life can provide emergency care to those who need it, quickly and effectively prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has provided staff with free training and at present has loaned an automated external defibrillator to the shopping centre whilst they work together with the Cannock Rotary Club in applying for a permanent defibrillator.

WMAS Community Response Manager, Matt Heward said: “The ambulance service has many community initiatives in place and we strongly believe that by having defibrillators installed in public places, such as shopping centres, schools and business premises, and having people trained in their use and basic first aid techniques, really can help to save lives.

“Eighty-five percent of those people who suffer cardiac arrests have the ability to be corrected by defibrillation. The quicker someone is defibrillated, not only improves the chance of their survival but it can also help to improve the chances of a patient’s full recovery and reduce the time to do so. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.”

Natal Chapman, Centre Manager at Cannock Shopping Centre, added: “We welcome the placement of a defibrillator at the shopping centre as it could mean the difference between life and death. There has been a rise in these devices being positioned within public areas, such as shopping centres, airports, village halls and railways stations and we want to let our shoppers know that it’s not something to be afraid of using, in the event of an emergency. We recommend the HeartStart life-saving course to everybody as it is a really valuable scheme and gives people the knowledge and confidence to deal with emergency situations.”

The defibrillator will be located in the Security Control Room within the shopping centre. Cannock also hosts two public access defibrillators at St. Luke’s Church and it is anticipated that a further two defibrillators will be installed within the bus station and ASDA later on in the year.

Cannock businesses wishing to enquire about a defibrillator are invited to contact Matt Heward, WMAS Community Response Manager, on 077930 40310.


Notes to Editor:
• Picture One: Gemma Gudger, Cannock Shopping Centre Hygiene Operative, Cannock Shopping Centre Security Officer’s Christopher Roy Baker and Daren Jordan, and WMAS Community Response Manager Matt Heward.

Picture Two: Gemma, Matt, Christopher and Daren.

• For more information about HeartStart in Staffordshire please visit:

West Midlands Ambulance Service and the British Heart Foundation also run a free two hour course called ‘HeartStart’, a community training scheme which teaches individuals vital life-saving skills including CPR and using a defibrillator. Anyone can attend the classes and more information can be found at

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