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Sheffield AED Network Project Launch

19 April 2009

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is working with a number of Sheffield organisations to link access to vital life-saving equipment in an effort to make Sheffield city centre a safer place to live and work.  An event to mark the launch of this partnership between sites with life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is being held in Sheffield next week (Wednesday 25 March 2009). 

Members of the Sheffield AED Network with Emma Scott, YAS Community Defibrillation Officer (second right)

Caption: Members of the Sheffield AED Network with Emma Scoot,
YAS Community Defibrillation Officer (second right)

The Sheffield AED Network is an initiative to link all the sites in Sheffield which house an AED. These machines are used to deliver a controlled electric shock to restart someone’s heart if it stops and provide early intervention to patients suffering a cardiac arrest which is one of the keys to survival.

Thirteen sites are currently involved in the network, with other AED sites in the city centre due to come on board in the future.  Each site has kindly offered the City Centre Ambassadors and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) access to their equipment.  They are all trained to use the AEDs by YAS and, in return for the organisations’ support of the initiative, YAS has offered free training on the equipment to staff at each site.

To raise awareness of this project, YAS is joining with representatives from the organisations at an event which will take place in the Skyline Suite at Ponds Forge on 25 March 2009 between 11.00am and 1.00pm.  Sheffield International Venues has kindly provided a room at Ponds Forge free of charge as part of its commitment to the initiative.

Also in attendance will be representatives from the British Heart Foundation and Westfield Contributory Health Scheme.  Both organisations have played a vital part in the funding and provision of AEDs across the city centre. Other partners include Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield International Venues, and individual organisations throughout Sheffield.

Emma Scott, Community Defibrillation Officer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, says: “AEDs at sites such as those involved in the Sheffield AED Network mean that the time between a person suffering a cardiac arrest in Sheffield city centre and them receiving vital treatment can be much reduced. The sites involved and all the people who have volunteered to be trained, as well as the City Centre Ambassadors and PCSOs, deserve a massive ‘thank you’ for being prepared to go that extra mile to make Sheffield a safer place. One day they could be life-savers.”

Notes to Editors
1. Any members of the media who wish to attend the event should contact the YAS Press Office on 0845 120 0048.

2. The sites in Sheffield which are part of the Network are:

  • Crucible Theatre
  • Lyceum Theatre
  • Westfield Healthcare
  • Castle Markets
  • Sheffield Interchange 
  • Ponds Forge International Sports Centre
  • Sheffield Train Station
  • Orchard Square Sheffield 
  • Sheffield City Hall
  • HSBC Sheffield
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Winter Gardens (City Centre Ambassadors)
  • South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
  • Department for Work and Pensions (5 sites)

3. More than 260,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of whom die before reaching hospital due to cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest most often occurs as a result of a heart attack, when the heart is starved of oxygen. Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver, known as fibrillation, or stop beating altogether. The defibrillators installed at many AED sites work by delivering a controlled electric shock through the chest wall to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. The faster this treatment is delivered, the better the outcome for the patient.

4. YAS supports and trains staff at over 50 sites with AEDs around South Yorkshire including most transport interchanges and major shopping centres.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department