Firefighters and Councillors help ‘Save A Heart’ in Southport this Valentine’s Day
Firefighters from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) will join Sefton councillors in distributing signs to Southport businesses to help inform people where their nearest defibrillator is this Valentine’s Day (Wednesday, February 14).
The ‘Save A Heart’ initiative, the first of its kind on Merseyside, will see fire crews and councillors team up to give out potentially life-saving signs – funded by Sefton Council – to town centre shops and businesses, including those on Lord Street and along the Promenade.
Business owners will also be offered the chance to attend awareness sessions at Southport Community Fire & Ambulance Station to learn how to use a defibrillator and find out about basic life support skills and CPR.
A defibrillator is a device that gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.
Used within three to five minutes of collapse, defibrillators can result in a casualty surviving in 50-70% of cases. Each minute of delay to defibrillation reduces a casualty’s survival by 10%.[i]
Station Manager Steve Pang conceived the ‘Save A Heart’ signage scheme and secured funding from Sefton Council after presenting his idea to councillors. If the signs prove successful, more could be rolled out across Merseyside.
He said: “During cardiac arrest defibrillators are vital to a patient’s survival, therefore it’s important for residents and visitors to know exactly where they are so as they can be quickly located in the case of a medical emergency.
“Sefton Council has generously funded these signs, which we hope businesses will display in windows to show people where their nearest defibrillator is. Retailers will also be invited to take part in demonstrations to learn how defibrillators work.
“It is great to have the support of Sefton Council, and for our crews to be working alongside Sefton councillors in delivering these signs to the Southport community. This is the first initiative of its kind in Merseyside and we hope it will eventually be rolled out across the county to help save as many lives as possible.”
A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to help residents and businesses across Southport to ‘Save A Heart.’
“Knowledge of where to find a defibrillator in an emergency could prove the difference between life and death and we hope that businesses will take the time to display these signs clearly and prominently to help others.”