MORE than 200 pieces of vital life saving equipment is set to be installed at railway stations across Wales, including seven in Gwent.

Transport for Wales (TfW) has announced plans to install defibrillators at stations across Wales and the cross border stations which the rail firm operates.

Overall, 200 will be put in place, with the first phase – 53 defibrillators, coming this month.

This first phase is designed to coincide with ‘Defibruary’ – a month-long campaign by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust to raise awareness of the importance of defibrillators.

The remaining defibrillators will be installed later this spring, and once ready for use they will be uploaded onto the British Heart Foundation’s bespoke portal, called The Circuit, in partnership with St John Ambulance, the Resuscitation Council UK and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

The Circuit maps defibrillators for NHS ambulance services across the UK so in the crucial moments after a cardiac arrest, they can swiftly direct members of the public to the nearest defibrillator.

In Gwent, the seven defibrillators being installed this month will be found at the following locations:

  • Severn Tunnel Junction x3
  • Caldicot x2
  • Chepstow
  • Pontypool

What has been said about the plans?

Jeremy Williams, Transport for Wales' head of stations, said: “Our defibrillators are so important in helping those who may experience a cardiac arrest, be they TfW customers, colleagues or someone in the local community.

“We already have some defibrillators across the Wales and Borders route and these additional 200 machines will become a valuable life-saving resource.”

The project has been organised by TfW’s Karl Gilmore, who said: “All of the defibrillators will be available 24 hours a day but, more crucially, they will all be listed on The Circuit so emergency services staff know where they are located.

“Our staff will be given training on how to use the defibrillators and we’re working with charities and other organisations to make sure we can roll out training into communities.”

The initiative has been supported by British Heart Foundation Cymru and the Welsh Ambulance Service.

It is thought that survival rates fall by 10 per cent every minute without CPR or by using a defibrillator and using a defibrillator within three minutes of a cardiac arrest can improve a person's chance of survival by as much as 70 per cent.

More information can be found online here.