Defibrillator plan approved

St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald.
St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald.

Council chiefs have given the green light to plans to install life-saving defibrillators in libraries and leisure centres across the borough.

The machines can restart the heart of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest and are credited with having helped save many lives, including that of former Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Defibrillators will now be installed at Central Library, Wesley House contact centre, Sutton Leisure Centre, Parr Swimming and Fitness Centre and Selwyn Jones Sports Centre.

The initiative is in partnership with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) who will purchase and maintain the equipment and who will also provide training on their use.

Council leader Barrie Grunewald hailed the move.

He said: “This is just the first stage of a longer project to roll out defibrillators to the wider borough.

“But there are also obstacles to overcome and we have to get it right, the right training, the right equipment being just some of them.

“It is essential that we move on with this as they can and do save lives.”

According to the British Heart Foundation defibrillators should be sited in locations which have a high probability of a cardiac arrest event such as leisure centres.

The British Heart Foundation says that from the point a person collapses to the delivery of the first shock is the single most important determinant of survival.