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Lifesaving defibrillators are being put in remote UK communities thanks to HM Coastguard

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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AEDs are now available in HM Coastguard vehicles.
AEDs are now available in HM Coastguard vehicles.

Lifesaving defibrillators have been given to remote highland communities, thanks to an initiative from HM Coastguard.

The new defibrillators mean extra lifesaving capability at emergencies and helps to fill some critical ‘gaps’ to bring access to Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for people in the UK’s most remote communities.

Nearly 500 AEDs are now available in Her Majesty’s Coastguard’s emergency response vehicles, coastal officer and divisional commander vehicles and all its rescue coordination centres. AEDs are also in all other buildings belonging to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, including marine offices around the UK, adding extra protection for employees in the event of heart-related incident at work.

Dr Paddy Morgan, HM Coastguard’s medical director, said: “Minutes really matter in the event of a cardiac arrest and having rapid access to an AED can make a significant difference to the chances of someone going home to their loved one or not. Working with our partners in the other emergency services, we have become an integral part of the network that reduces the time to effective defibrillators for people in our communities in an emergency.”

Chief coastguard of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, Peter Mizen said: “As the national maritime emergency service, we have a wider role to play as part of local communities, often in remote and rural locations where we provide essential support for our emergency services partners. By carrying them in our vehicles, it also means they are immediately on hand for our teams who may come across emergencies on their regular safety patrols and when we attend public events.”

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