A life-saving community defibrillator has been unveiled on Burnham-On-Sea’s seafront this week to help people suffering cardiac arrests.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has worked in partnership with BARB Search & Rescue to introduce the defibrillator, which is located in a prominent location on the northern end of the hovercraft station building on The Esplanade, facing the public conveniences.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are purposely easy to use and anyone can use them – the machines themselves talk you through what to do, and that, alongside advice from emergency call-handlers, means that anyone can help to save a life.

Cardiac arrest does not discriminate against age, sex or fitness – it can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. It can be caused by many things including heart attacks, strokes and major trauma, and early defibrillation for patients in cardiac arrest can make all the difference to the outcome.

SWASFT has launched several new initiatives in Somerset this year such as increasing the number of Community First Responders as well as giving better access to community defibrillators by increasing the number available.

As the most rural ambulance service in the country, SWASFT plays a huge role in ensuring that communities have access to a defibrillator. It is exceptionally important and plays a huge part in getting people the care they need, immediately – which is what, is required in a cardiac arrest situation.

Chris Perks, Assistant Community Responder Officer of SWASFT, said: “The first few minutes of a cardiac arrest are absolutely crucial so having this life-saving equipment available, while the Ambulance is en route, gives the patient the best possible chance of survival. The more communities we can support in having their own defibrillator, the better.”

BARB Operations Manager Mike Lowe added: “It’s great to be working in partnership with SWASFT to provide this important equipment, which can save lives. This is a great new asset for the town in a very visible location on the seafront.”