Swansea Council is teaming up with local charity – Heartbeat Trust UK, who will take the lead on the installation of the vital medical equipment – which is used when a person suffers a cardiac arrest.
The 24 hour accessible defibrillators will be installed in all 36 wards across the city, meaning residents will never be too far away from one.
Additional street signage, information boards and window stickers in retail outlets will also be included to help inform the public of where the equipment is.
A programme of CPR and defibrillator training sessions will also be provided free of charge in each ward. These one hour awareness sessions will be delivered by Heartbeat Trust’s partners, St Johns Wales and the Community Responder Network.
Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “We aim to be the first city in the UK to be defib-friendly.
“This equipment can easily mean the difference between life and death when someone suffers from a medical emergency such as a heart attack and we want to ensure all our residents have as much support as possible.”
Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes, Energy and Service Transformation said: “Heartbeat Trust UK is already doing a fantastic job working with some communities in the city with new defibrillator machines already planned. This partnership will ensure we can get these machines installed all across the city and help save lives.
“I’m confident residents in all our communities will support this partnership and I look forward to working alongside the trust to make Swansea a leading city in providing such life-saving equipment on our streets.”
Henry Gilbert, Chair of Heartbeat Trust UK, comments, “We live in very difficult times, Covid-19 has impacted every part of our lives. This pandemic has also been linked to a significant increase in the number of out of hospital cardiac arrests, by up to 180% in certain regions.
“Increasing the number of 24 hour accessible defibrillators and knowing how to use them is now more important than ever.
“Within Swansea, statistically, we can expect over 250 people to have a sudden cardiac arrest out of hospital every year and, unfortunately, 225 of our residents are not likely to survive. This obviously impacts on family, friends and even the local economy.
“With CPR and timely intervention of a defibrillator, the survival rate can potentially improve from 25 residents to over 180. Even just one additional life saved demonstrates why it is so important that everyone is aware of the location of their nearest defibrillator, how to use it and perform CPR. Everyone has the capability to save a life.”