Milford Haven to have life-saving defibrillators available 24-7 thanks to new funding

First published in News

Milford Haven will lead the way in providing round-the-clock first aid after securing funding for life-saving equipment.

The town is set to get two new defibrillators, which will be publicly accessible 24 hours a day, after a £4,000 donation towards the project by Milford Haven Town Council.

First aid trainer Dillwyn Griffiths, from Pembrokeshire First Aid Training, said: "The town currently has two defibrillators in the Meads Leisure Centre and the Port Authority offices in Hakin. But what we need is to be able to provide machines that are accessible to the public 24 hours a day."

He added: “I am proud that we are getting two in Milford Haven. If someone suffers a heart attack, using a defibrillator on them in the first three minutes gives them a 74% chance of survival. With every minute that passes for an individual suffering a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival are reduced by 7-10%. The numbers speak for themselves.”

Dillwyn said that most importantly, the defibrillators can be used by anyone. And once they are out in the town, he hopes to organise free training sessions for members of the public.

He said: “People are terrified of using defibrillators because they think it’s best left to professionals. But this really isn’t the case - automated external defibrillators should not be restricted to trained personnel. Anyone can use them because the machine takes over from the word go."

The machine, which passes 4,700 volts through the body - enough electricity to light every light in the Millennium Stadium for a minute, gives step-by-step instructions to the user.

Milford Haven Mayor Councillor Guy Woodham said: “When Dillwyn first raised the issue of defibrillators, as part of our discussions, it was suggested that the council take the lead and purchase the first two defibrillators. But we would like to see others come forward and look at providing more defibrillators for the town."

He added: “Just one life saved is justification enough for the money.”

Dillwyn, who lost his mother to a heart attack, said that with time, he wanted to see hundreds of defibrillators in public places around the town.

He said: "Two hundred people a year die in a fire, and 100,000 people die of a heart attack. That’s one every five minutes, or 250 people a day. Where ever you see a fire extinguisher, a defibrillator should be there too.

"Two is a fantastic start, and hopefully the ball will start rolling. Great oaks from little acorns grow.”

For more information call Dillwyn on 01646 696858 or visit www.pembrokeshirefirstaidtraining.co.uk.

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