Yorkshire Ambulance Service launches life-saving app

17 April 2018

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) NHS Trust is launching a life-saving app which maps all the 1,288 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) across the county.

The Save a Life app tells you the location of your nearest AED and provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidance in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.

The app is designed to make members of the public aware of their nearest AED, as well as highlighting communities which don’t have a life-saving device.

Paul Stevens, Head of Community Resilience at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “There has been a staggering increase in the number of AEDs across Yorkshire; four years ago there were 100 and today there are 1,288. This app plots all the AEDs so members of the public can familiarise themselves with the location of their nearest device.

“We also hope that communities which don’t have the life-saving kit will consider purchasing one via the various funding streams which are available.

“However, the app should not be used in an emergency. In the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest, you should still call 999 and will then be told the location of your nearest AED and the code needed to access it. We would encourage members of the public to proactively use the app to locate their nearest AED so that they can be prepared for an emergency situation.”

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.

Curtis Randle, from Knaresborough, was walking through the Market Place when he suffered a cardiac arrest in May 2016. By coincidence, it happened right next to the town’s very first public access defibrillator.

An off-duty Community First Responder and off-duty GP came to his rescue, closely followed by another Community First Responder and ambulance crews.

Curtis said: “The defibrillator undoubtedly saved my life and I’m so grateful that it was there when I needed it. My family and I are now constantly looking out for defibrillators so that we know exactly where they are.

“I’m really pleased that the app has been launched, because it’s so important that people are made aware of defibrillators and how they really can make a difference.”

The Save a Life app, which is iOS and Android compatible and free to download, was originally developed for South Central Ambulance Service by its partner, O2, and uses GPS functionality to show the location of the nearest defibrillator from wherever the user is in Yorkshire.

As well as storing the details of the 1,288 AEDs across Yorkshire, the app contains videos which demonstrate how to carry out CPR on adults, children and infants, along with a myth-buster section that dispels the most commonly held misconceptions about the risks of attempting CPR. The location of each AED on the map has been verified by Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the date of verification included so users can see when it was last checked.

An AED and its secure storage cabinet cost around £1,400. The Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity provides part-funding grants for the kit, along with various other organisations including the British Heart Foundation.

If you would like to consider buying an AED for your community, contact:

  • warren.bostock@yas.nhs.uk - East Yorkshire and North Yorkshire (East of the A1)
  • emma.scott@yas.nhs.uk - South Yorkshire, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield area
  • dave.jones@yas.nhs.uk - Airedale, Bradford, Leeds and Craven area (West of the A1 in North Yorkshire).

If you know about an AED which is not included in the Save a Life app, contact aed@yas.nhs.uk

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department